Julius Caesar features all female cast


Courtesy of Ken Jacques

by Alex Noble , Staff Writer

Chances are you’ve probably had to read your fair share of Shakespeare in school, but with its production of “Julius Caesar,” the School of Theatre, Television and Film guarantees a fresh take on The Bard’s classic tragedy.

A historic first for San Diego State, the production boasts an all-female cast. This progressive twist is due much to the involvement of guest director Delicia Turner Sonnenberg, the executive artistic director of the MOXIE Theatre group here in San Diego.

MOXIE strives to promote honest and diverse portrayals of women in media, utilizing the talents of primarily female actors, directors and playwrights in shows that defy feminine stereotypes. Director of the School of Theatre, Television and Film DJ Hopkins asked Turner Sonnenberg to helm the show.

“Neither of us were interested in using a regular cast,” Sonnenberg said. “There are of course talented male actors here too but we wanted to provide opportunities for young female artists that they might not have gotten otherwise.”

A play with notoriously few female roles, this production presents a chance to explore “Julius Caesar” from a different point of view. In a society where gender roles are slowly crumbling, our entertainment should match our reality.

Although the characters and dialogue remain the same, Sonnenberg said the added challenge that the actors faced in addition to their already complex roles.

“They had to learn to not just embody their characters for who they were, but the male characters’ physicality as well,” she said.

In addition being an entertaining and interesting watch, it is Sonnenberg said she hopes that the show will help to set a precedent for more actresses to go after difficult juicy roles, regardless of their intended gender.

The timing of this production couldn’t have been more appropriate. With Election Day rapidly approaching, the themes of “Julius Caesar” are more relevant than ever.

“Distrust in politicians, the outsider versus the establishment,” Sonnenberg said, “The play is about the importance of being an informed citizen and knowing how the government operates.”

The production is currently running from Nov. 4 – 13 in the Experimental Theater. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday showings are at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday’s showing is at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $17 general admission and $15 for students.