“Julius Caesar” cast list released; rehearsals begin

September 25, 2018 — by Anishi Patel and Oliver Ye

Shakespearean language in "Julius Caesar" provides challenge for rehearsals.

Preparations for the fall play, “Julius Caesar,” are well underway after the Sept. 11-14 auditions concluded and a cast list was posted.

Headlining the play will be senior Dermot Gleeson as Roman politician and military general Julius Caesar; senior Shasta Ganti as Caesar’s friend, Brutus; senior Mateo Morganstern as one of Caesar’s most outspoken enemies, Cassius; junior Matilda Hickman-Smith as Caesar’s wife, Calpurnia; junior Surbhi Bhat as Brutus’s wife, Portia, and senior Raghav Malaviya as Caesar’s steadfast political supporter, Antony.

“Julius Caesar,” a Shakespearean play, is the first non-contemporary production the drama department has put on in over six years.

“I feel that Shakespeare is just so prominent in every school curriculum in America that a drama program should commit to doing one every once in a while,” drama teacher Sarah Thermond said. “I firmly believe that Shakespeare plays are meant to be seen live, and it’s also good variety for students to handle classical language.”

The play’s language and style provide a novel challenge for cast members, calling for extra research and preparation.

“It’s an earlier form of English, and there are a lot more lines to get used to,” Malaviya said, “but I think it will be a challenge that we can take on and succeed in.”

In order to better familiarize himself with Antony’s lines and character, Malaviya said he marks up the script with a modern English translation of each passage, noting his character’s actions and emotions.

Younger students have also stepped up to the challenge, surprising Thermond with their efforts.

“I thought [Shakespearean monologues] would be difficult, but the students were really good,” she said. “Even freshmen I had never met walked in and did an amazing job [at auditions].”

The play is also an attractive one to put on in that most English 10 classes read it as part of the curriculum, giving upperclassmen a high degree of familiarity with it.

“It’s a really good show, especially for all the juniors or seniors who have already gone through it [in school], because it's easier for us to understand,” Malaviya said.

Putting on a play many students recognize also boosts attendance, a factor that matters greatly to performers, Thermond said.

The drama department will be adding more combat scenes and experimenting with new audio and visual technology with this show.

“We have fewer days for rehearsals, so this is going to be exciting,” Thermond said, “but in terms of performance ability, they are already most of the way there.”

“Julius Caesar” will premiere on Nov. 10, with additional shows on Nov. 11, 16 and 17.

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