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Nov 29 2017

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Theatre department performs gender-swapped version of Julius Caesar

The theater department began their newest season with a genderswapped version of William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar that ran from Nov. 2 to Nov. 5.

The play takes place in a boarding school, and introduced gender swapped characters, rather than in ancient Rome, like the original.

Theatre director Jason Tamborini said the play experimented with the role of powerful women.

“Our season is about the idea of powerful women and how we view them [and] I wanted to use Julius Caesar to play with the perception of what powerful women can be,” Tamborini said.

Senior and lead actress Morgan Smith, who played Julia Caesar, said that the reasoning for the gender swapping came from the archetype of women in that time period.

“There’s a stereotype, at least in Caesar, that the men are the powerful ones and the women […] are just arm candy, so we were like if we wanna show powerful women, how do we change that? Why don’t we genderswap it?” Smith said.

Tamborini also said the modern setting of the play was intended to make the play easier to understand.

“A lot of the students I’ve spoken to, they feel like it made a little more sense to them being in a setting that they recognize,” Tamborini said. “When it’s just on paper it’s still Shakespeare’s language so even if you imagine it being in a modern setting it doesn’t necessarily translate in your mind until you see it happening.”
Senior and ensemble cast member Quincy Bienkowski also said the setting change better suited the high school audience.

“We wanted something relatable like a high school drama, where there’s a queen bee,” Bienkowski said.
Bienkowski also talked about how the modern setting allowed the Theatre department to leave their mark on Shakespeare.

“I think the modern spinoff is more that our director and school wanted to make an imprint on Shakespearean theatre,” Bienkowski said.

Tamborini also said the play itself is a different approach to the Theatre department because of the onstage changes.

“Shakespeare wanted his plays to be unique [to each production],” Tamborini said.

Sophomore and cast member Rachel Lipetz said she felt excited finally performing the play on stage.
“It’s very exciting and fun that this thing you worked on for weeks is finally getting put on its feet,” Lipetz said.

Senior Roisin O’Dowd also said she was happy with the play.

“It’s a spin on a classic,” O’Dowd said.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.gcmnews.net/media/rnf/2017/11/29/theatre-department-performs-gender-swapped-version-of-julius-caesar/