Shakespeare’s Caesar – a Brief History of Staging, and a Staging with History

In this, the year marking the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death, the whole world seems to be buzzing with celebrations, retrospectives, histories, and new creative interpretations of the Bard’s life and life’s work. So, looking forward on the day of Repercussion Theatre’s 2016 summer season launch, it also feels appropriate to look back, and consider the historied nature of Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Julius Caesar.

Julius Caesar is remarkable, in that the play possesses an intensely detailed stage history, with first-hand audience accounts dating back to 1599. (Please consider the exceptional article by John D. Cox, overviewing the play’s staging from the late sixteenth to early twenty-first century. http://internetshakespeare.uvic.ca/doc/JC_StageHistory/section/1/) The 1599 performance date distinguishes Julius Caesar as one of the first few of Shakespeare’s plays to have been staged at the Globe Theatre. This early staging was reportedly minimalist, with the stage largely unadorned, and the audience prompted to focus on the human element of the play. Over the years, Julius Caesar has been staged with widely varied cast sizes, ranging from performances of a disconcertingly conspiratorial small number, to enormous, immersive experiences with hundreds of actors engaging in huge battle scenes. The play has also been staged in different historical contexts – in multiple conceptions of Imperial Rome, as a harshly-lit Fascist rally (Orson Welles’ topical 1937 production), and as a contemporary African power-struggle (the Royal Shakespeare Company’s 2012 production), to highlight but a few.

Now, in our 28th season, Repercussion Theatre will present Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar for the first time in the company’s history. Still, although this is a first for Repercussion, the Theatre will move forward with a number of returning cast alumni, including Deena Aziz (Twelfth Night, ‘94), Miriam Cummings (Taming of the Shrew, ’12), Gitanjali Jain (Twelfth Night, ‘15), Darragh Kilkenny-Mondoux (Twelfth Night, ’15), and Samantha Megarry (Macbeth, ’11).

This year’s production plays host to numerous non-cast alumni as well, The creative team sees the return of Amanda Kellock (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, ’04, ‘05; Much Ado About Nothing, ’06; Les Fourberies de Scapin, ’07; Romeo and Juliet, ’10; Twelfth Night, ‘15), set designer Marjolaine Provençal (Twelfth Night, ‘15), and costume designer Susana Vera (Taming of the Shrew, ’12). Similarly, production staff has its share of alumni, including: Kate Hennigar (Twelfth Night, ‘15), Dustin Kagan-Fleming (Macbeth, ’11), and Michael Tonus (Twelfth Night, ‘15).

So, while The Tragedy of Julius Caesar might be a new addition to Repercussion Theatre’s repertoire, the latest Shakespeare-in-the-Park offering promises to play host to a fare few familiar faces. Repercussion Theatre is very excited to offer one of William Shakespeare’s most renowned historio-tragedies, and honoured to be able to do so in such esteemed company.

#TheLaunchMtl and 2016 Season Reveal

This coming Monday, 2 May 2016, Repercussion Theatre will be taking part in The Launch, a remarkable evening which will reveal the 2016-2017 seasons of ten professional independent English Montréal theatre companies. We’ll be unveiling our summer tour and participating in a conversation about the imaginative and compelling offerings coming to stages across Montréal. Come to the Monument-National Café and take part in what promises to be an exciting forum of creativity! The event will also be live-streamed via Periscope, Facebook, and Twitter. Stay tuned for more…

Technical Crew Positions

HEAD OF SOUND
Employment Period: Early June to early August. Exact dates TBC.

POSITION SUMMARY
Under the supervision of the Technical Director and Production Manager:

  • During rehearsals: assist in the inventory maintenance and technical tour planning. Research suitable sound equipment required for the production including: speakers, soundboard, outboard gear, microphones cables, etc.
  • During the performance run: unload equipment from the trucks, install and maintain the sound equipment for each show according to the requirements of each park venue. Assist all other departments as required.
  • Act as Sound Board Operator, executing cues and monitoring microphones and levels during rehearsal and performances.
  • Assist in the strike of all technical equipment into the trucks and vehicles after each performance.
  • Assist in returns at the end of the run (cleaning and dismantling of equipment to storage).

Qualifications:

  • Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident, and must be currently a full-time student returning to school full-time in 2016-2017. This position is offered through the Canada Summer Jobs grant.
  • Experience working in sound and knowledge of the latest technology.
  • Experience setting up, repairing and operating wireless microphones.
  • Experience operating and programing Qlab.
  • A positive attitude and ability to multitask, take initiative, and work independently.
  • Ability to work long hours in the outdoors (sun, rain, heat etc).
  • Capacity to adapt easily to an ever-changing environment.
  • Soldering and carpentry skills will be considered assist.
  • Must be comfortable working at heights and often lifting loads of 45 pounds.
  • Valid driver’s license and experience driving a 16’+ truck will also be considered an asset.

 

SITE TECHNICIAN
Employment Period: Early June to early August. Exact dates TBC.

POSITION SUMMARY
Under the supervision of the Technical Director and Production Manager:

  • During rehearsals: assist in the construction of the set, technical set-up, inventory maintenance and technical tour planning.
  • During the performance run: install and maintain the stage and technical equipment for the shows according to the requirements of each park venue. Assist all other departments as required.
  • Participate as running crew during the show as required.
  • Assist in the strike of the technical equipment into the trucks and vehicles after each performance.
  • Assist in returns at the end of the run (cleaning and dismantling of equipment to storage).

Qualifications:

  • Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident, and must be currently a full-time student returning to school full-time in 2016-2017. This position is offered through the Canada Summer Jobs grant.
  • Experience working in technical theatre.
  • A positive attitude and ability to multitask, take initiative, and work independently.
  • Ability to work long hours in the outdoors (sun, rain, heat etc).
  • Capacity to adapt easily to an ever-changing environment.
  • Must be comfortable working at heights and often lifting loads of 45 pounds.
  • Knowledge of theatrical procedures, tools and products.
  • Basic knowledge of all aspects of scenic construction.
  • The ability to read and understand scenic plans.
  • Soldering skills will be considered an asset.
  • Valid driver’s license and experience driving a 16’+ Truck would be an asset.

Repercussion Theatre is primarily an English language theatre company that tours the island of Montreal and the surrounding areas, but knowledge of French would be an asset.

Please e-mail your cover letter and resume to production@repercussiontheatre.com