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Chicago Shakespeare Announces Casting for Julius Caesar
Jan 15, 2013

Julius Caesar Chicago Shakespeare TheaterChicago Shakespeare Theater (CST) announced casting for its contemporary retelling of William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, staged by acclaimed British director Jonathan Munby in his Chicago debut, February 5-March 24, 2013 in CST's Courtyard Theater. The production features a celebrated company of artists that includes Jeff Award-winning Chicago actor David Darlow in the title role, Canada's Stratford Festival favorite Dion Johnstone as Marc Antony, New York stage and screen actor Jason Kolotouros as Caius Cassius and British actor John Light as Marcus Brutus. The production also welcomes the return of veteran CST actors David Lively as Ligarius/Lepidus, Barbara E. Robertson as Calphurnia and Larry Yando as Casca.

British director Jonathan Munby makes his Chicago debut following his celebrated work in the UK at the Donmar Warehouse (The Prince of Homburg, Life Is a Dream), Shakespeare's Globe (A Midsummer Night's Dream) and Royal Shakespeare Company (The Canterbury Tales, Madness in Valencia). US credits include The Recommendation (The Old Globe, San Diego), The Winter's Tale (Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis) and The Dog in the Manger (Shakespeare Theatre Company, Washington, DC), for which he was nominated for the Outstanding Director Helen Hayes Award. In a modern staging of Shakespeare's political thriller, Munby envisions Julius Caesar through the lens of contemporary culture, drawing striking parallels with today's political landscape. On the heels of the recent presidential inauguration, Munby poses the questions: What are the consequences of power? What transpires when you take away the structure? What happens next?

"This play opens up so many of the fears that the populace has in this moment in history," said Munby. "The fear of losing democracy, the fear of losing a voice, the fear of what lies ahead. It's really a cautionary tale for our time."

Performing the title role of Julius Caesar in Munby's production is Jeff Award-winning Chicago actor David Darlow, whose previous work at CST includes Othello, Timon of Athens and As You Like It. Other Chicago credits include: A Midsummer Night's Dream (Goodman Theatre), Betrayal (Northlight Theatre) and Endgame (American Theater Company), for which he won the Jeff Award for Actor in a Supporting Role. Making their CST debuts are Dion Johnstone, Jason Kolotouros and John Light as Marc Antony, Caius Cassius and Marcus Brutus, respectively. Dion Johnstone has performed in seven seasons with the Stratford Festival in Canada, including the roles of Caliban in The Tempest, Macduff in Macbeth and Oberon in A Midsummer Night's Dream, and will be seen at this summer's festival in the title role in Othello. Other credits include originating the role of Boromir in the world premiere of the musical Lord of the Rings (Mirvish Productions) and Davey Battle in the Canadian premiere of Take Me Out (Canstage). Stage and screen actor Jason Kolotouros has previously been seen in the New York productions Blue Window at the MCC Theater and Home Section with the Lincoln Center Drama League. Regional credits include: The Persian Quarter (Merrimack Repertory Theatre), Messugah (McCarter Theatre) and The Servant of Two Masters (Venture Theatre). He has been featured in several TV shows, including Sex and the City, Law & Order, The Good Wife and Nurse Jackie. John Light makes his Chicago stage debut in Julius Caesar. A well-known actor with the Royal Shakespeare Company (Caliban in The Tempest opposite Patrick Stewart, Julius Caesar, The Seagull, In the Company of Men, A Patriot for Me), other UK credits include Luise Miller (Donmar Warehouse), The New World, A Life of Thomas Paine (Shakespeare's Globe), The Master Builder, Certain Young Men (Almeida Theatre), Apologia, Clocks and Whistles (Bush Theatre), and Hedda Gabler (Gate Theatre, Dublin). [John Light is appearing with the permission of Actors' Equity Association (AEA). Chicago Shakespeare gratefully acknowledges AEA for its assistance of this production.]

Veteran CST artists David Lively, Barbara E. Robertson and Larry Yando return to the Chicago Shakespeare stage as Ligarius/Lepidus, Calphurnia and Casca, respectively. David Lively has performed in 16 CST productions, including Timon of Athens, The Madness of George III, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth and Amadeus. In 2006 he played the title role in CST's Henry IV Parts 1 and 2 directed by Artistic Director Barbara Gaines, which then debuted at the Royal Shakespeare Company. Jeff Award-winning actress Barbara E. Robertson has performed in seven productions at CST, including the roles of Gertrude in Hamlet, Desiree in A Little Night Music and the title roles in Antony and Cleopatra and Kabuki Lady Macbeth. Other Chicago credits include: Black Snow (Jeff Award) at Goodman Theatre, Grand Hotel (Jeff Award) at the Broadway Playhouse, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Jeff Award) at Court Theatre and Madame Morrible in the Chicago production of Wicked. In 2011 she won the Jeff Award for Solo Performance for her work in the Writers' Theatre production of The Detective's Wife, directed by CST Associate Artistic Director Gary Griffin. Jeff Award-winning actor Larry Yando has been involved in over 20 productions at Chicago Shakespeare, including the title roles in Cymbeline and Timon of Athens, and featured roles in The Tempest, All's Well That Ends Well, King Lear, Antony and Cleopatra and The Two Gentlemen of Verona. He was seen this holiday season as Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol at Goodman Theatre, reprising the role for the fourth time. In 2012 he won the Jeff Award for Actor in a Principal Role for his work as Roy Cohn in Court Theatre's celebrated production of Angels in America:Parts 1 and 2.

Completing the cast of Julius Caesar are returning CST artists Brenda Barrie as Portia, McKinley Carter as Soothsayer, Terry Hamilton as Trebonius/Commander of the Triumvirate, Torrey Hanson as Cicero/Cinna the Poet, Matt Mueller as Metellus Cimber/Messala, Austin Talley as Servant to Octavius/Clitus, Samuel Taylor as Flavius/Octavius/Popilius, Demetrios Troy as Decius Brutus/Titinius and Alex Weisman as Lucius. Making their CST debuts are Adam Brown as Servant to Antony/Young Cato, Dennis Grimes as Cinna the Conspirator/Lucilius, Chris Rickett as Pindarus/Servant to Caesar and Bret Tuomi as Murellus/Artemidorus. Ensemble members include Olivia Crary, Javier Ferreira, Andrew Hubbard, Dan Lin, Ryan McBride, Brendan Meyer, Savannah Rae and P. Tucker Worley.

Munby's creative team for Julius Caesar includes Scenic Designer Alexander Dodge and Costume Designer Ilona Somogyi, who make their Chicago Shakespeare debut. The design team also includes returning Lighting Designer Philip S. Rosenberg, returning Composer and Sound Designer Lindsay Jones, resident Wig and Make-up Designer Melissa Veal and resident Properties Master Chelsea Meyers.

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