The Castillo Theatre presents alumni from its youth theatre, Youth Onstage! in Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare under the direction of Craig Pattison, for only 6 performances, the last of which is tonight, April 29.
Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar portrays a conspiracy against Roman dictator Julius Caesar in 44 B.C., while exploring themes of honor, patriotism and friendship. Despite the play’s history of being done in modern dress to be made relevant, Shakespeare is too-often experienced as anything but relevant by young audiences.
Performance this Sunday is at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $35 for adults, $10 for students and seniors. Group rates are available. Tickets can be purchased through the Castillo Box Office at 212-941-1234 or go to www.castillo.org.
“I start by telling our actors to throw the scripts against the wall to knock all the dust off them. These classic plays belong to everyone. Shakespeare lives in the mouths of the people who speak his words,” says director Craig Pattison. “Young actors develop tremendously by making Shakespeare their own.”
Pattison’s approach to directing the Youth Onstage! actors in Shakespeare, most of whom are new to theatre and come from inner city communities, is physically and vocally based. The young actors, ranging in age from 14-21, start by playing with and getting familiar with the language, the sounds and the rhythms of the script long before they find the meaning in the words, finding the meaning through their playful exploration of the script.