BANGOR, Maine — One of New England’s most well-respected Shakespeare companies will perform a 90-minute version of “Julius Caesar” at 7 p.m. today at the Tracy Grans Ballroom at University College of Bangor.
Shakespeare & Company’s stop in the Queen City is part of the Lenox, Mass.-based organization’s annual educational tour. The play also will be presented at 7 p.m. Thursday at the University of Maine at Augusta.
The performances in Bangor and Augusta are funded by student fees and the budget for the Provost’s Office, according to Harry Batty, coordinator for the humanities at UCB.
A post-show forum with the actors will be held on both campuses.
“We are resisting the headlong charge into the post-literary phase of civilization,” he said Monday when asked why UMA was bringing the play to its campuses. “It’s extremely important that students learn about Shakespeare and become familiar with his plays. He’s part of our cultural heritage and is still the most significant author who’s ever written in English.”
Two years ago, the company performed a 90-minute version of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” in Bangor and Augusta.
“Seeing one of his plays brought to life changes our students’ perceptions of Shakespeare,” Batty said. “The company really makes Shakespeare’s words come alive.”
This year’s tour is the company’s 29th since 1978. Six actors, performing multiple roles, have been performing “Julius Caesar” and conducting workshops at schools, colleges and community centers in New England, New York and New Jersey since Feb. 1. The play will be presented May 21 to June 13 at Shakespeare & Company’s home base in the Berkshires.
“Julius Caesar” is the Bard’s account of the conspiracy to kill the Roman leader and the struggle to achieve order in the chaos that followed. Shakespeare & Company’s production is modeled after the Bard’s own touring shows, which took to the countryside when the plague closed down theaters in London.
The tour was partially funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts’ initiative Shakespeare in American Communities.
IF YOU GO
What: “Julius Caesar”
Who: Shakespeare & Co., Lenox, Mass.
When: Tuesday, April 27, 7 p.m.
Where: Tracy Grans Ballroom, University College of Bangor
Running time: 90 minutes