Artistic Directors Note on Julius Caesar
We are sharing our Artistic Director’s note from the Julius Caesar program. A great way to start off the season!
Shakespearean drama often dealt with the eternal conflict between fate and free will.
Through his characters, Shakespeare addressed the universal human conflict between
submitting to fate and exercising free will to conquer your fate. The characters of Julius
Caesar struggle with this dilemma as well: Does man have the power to change his
destiny? Each of the main characters of this play wrestle with the important question
of whether or not their actions can change the course of fate; a conflict that is resolved
in different ways. As in life, however, there is no fully satisfying answer to this burning
conundrum. Events, it seems, are as much down to the choices of our characters as they
are to caprcious winds of destiny.
It seems fitting, in this time of what appears to be compounding political crisis all over the
world, to be kicking-off our 2017/18 Season of Fate with a play about ambition and power.
We seemingly can’t get enough of this 400 year-old political thriller, with its scheming,
backstabbery over right of succesion, and eternal fears of blood-drenched political strife.
More than any other of the Bard’s political tragedies it’s the one that resonates the most
today. It has been theorized that Julius Caesar was always about contemporary political
power – “contemporary” here being applicable not only to Shakespeare’s time, but to our
own as well. The proof of Shakespeare’s enduring popularity is in this universality: he
captures the human condition like no one else.
As I embark on the 6th year of my post as Artistic Producer, I find Shakespeare’s plays
to be more topical than ever. The language remains rich, the characters complex and
the basic themes – love, treachery, honour, and political intrigue – still carry a strong
currency today. I am also honoured to work with Director Ron Jenkins (Othello, Romeo
and Juliet, and Richard III) and with our longtime partners at Hit & Myth Productions
and Ground Zero Theatre. Both these companies have had a long history of providing
action packed entertainment to our city, and it’s has been a pleasure creating with them.
We hope you enjoy our efforts.
Haysam Kadri, Artistic Director