Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST) announced today 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.]