Last night, Adam and I attended the Sacramento Shakespeare Festival‘s production of Julius Caesar.
Every year, the festival performs two of the Bard’s plays (this year: Caesar and Twelfth Night) in the amphitheater in William Land Park. Performances start at either 6pm or 8pm, just in time for the overbearing heat of the Sacramento summer to start to be tamed by the coming of night. People come with their picnic baskets in hand, and munch happily away while watching that night’s production.
This performance of Julius Caesar chose to make Caesar a woman, and the actress playing Caesar was fantastic. Hands down, she was the best actor on stage. What I wasn’t sure about was the choice to make her “Julia Caesar” and therefore change Shakespeare’s text throughout the play. “He” became “she.” “Man” became “woman.” Now I know that I said in a prior post that Shakespeare isn’t sacred — we can edit it. What I’m not sure about is changing his words completely — it throws off the meter of the line in some cases. I almost wonder if this actress could have just played a man’s role — I mean, the Globe did an excellent job of that in their all-female production of Taming of the Shrew.
Chatting with my husband on the way home from the production, I happened upon an idea: Why not try to see all of Shakespeare’s plays performed? (And, at the same time, get all of them read.)
My current “have watched” list:
- Julius Caesar — Sacramento Shakespeare Festival (2013)
- The Tempest — Shakespeare’s Globe (2013), and Sacramento Shakespeare Festival (2008)
- A Midsummer Night’s Dream — Shakespeare’s Globe (2013)
- The Taming of the Shrew — Shakespeare’s Globe (2013)
- Macbeth — The Mondavi Center, UC Davis (2006)
- The Two Gentlemen of Verona — Sacramento Shakespeare Festival (2006)
And I’m very excited to announce that in early 2014, I’ll have the opportunity to see The Sacramento Theatre Company’s production of Romeo and Juliet. So that would leave just… thirty more plays to go?