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Shakespeare’s Roman Tragedies Festival at Gallatin

Ancient Rome, Modern Politics

Oct 20, 2014

Roman Tragedies Festival

From November 6 through the 16th, Theater at Gallatin will present The Roman Tragedies Festival, which includes two mainstage theatrical performances, as well as a staged reading, an expert panel, and a film screening—all based on Shakespeare’s rich renditions of sex, violence, and politics in ancient Rome. Professor Kristin Horton, the festival’s producer, asks “What does it mean to evoke Rome today in 2014? What are some of these earlier ideas and how can they help us reflect on the present?”

Two mainstage Shakespearean productions will run in repertory. The festival will open with an original theatrical adaptation of the Bard’s lesser known narrative poem, “The Rape of Lucrece,” directed by Professor Horton. An all-female, all-Gallatin cast will perform Julius Caesar. While "Lucrece" looks back to the Roman Republic’s origins in the heroine’s rape and suicide, Caesar captures the beginning of the end of the Roman Republic with its hero’s assassination.

The urgent questions posed by this staging of Lucrece will be addressed by the Urban Democracy Lab’s panel, “I Am Lucrece: Rethinking Sexual Violence,” featuring Vanessa Grigoriadis of New York Magazine, activist Marybeth Seitz-Brown, and Gallatin associate faculty member and adviser, Cyd Cipolla.

Also on deck is a film screening of National Theatre Live's rendition of Shakespeare’s caustic play of class warfare, Coriolanus, starring Tom Hiddleston (The Avengers) and Mark Gatiss (BBC’s Sherlock). Finally, Fiasco Theater, a professional ensemble-in-residence at Gallatin, will do a staged reading of Antony and Cleopatra, Shakespeare’s Mediterranean play of love and death on the eve of the Roman Empire.

All events are free and open to the public and will take place on the first floor of 1 Washington Place in The Jerry H. Labowitz Theatre for the Performing Arts. Please see the complete schedule here, and note that an RSVP is required.