Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Kean University Department of Theatre to Commemorate 400th Anniversary of Shakespeare’s Death with Julius Caesar

Kean University’s Department of Theatre will commemorate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death with an innovative production of Julius Caesar. Directed by associate professor of theatre Ernest W. Wiggins, Julius Caesar will run February 19 - 27 in Kean’s Wilkins Theatre, located on the University’s main campus at 1000 Morris Avenue in Union. Inspired by historical events, Julius Caesar charts the conspiracy to murder Caesar, the iconic Roman general and statesman, and the power struggle that inevitably followed his death.

“This show is about political ambition, corruption and betrayal,” stated Mr. Wiggins. “At its heart, Julius Caesar is also about power, how it’s won and how it’s lost. Think of a situation where suspicion rules, regime change is always a possibility, and ambition is the motive for action. Ultimately Julius Caesar asks us to consider envy, jealousy and murder.”

“I've cast the character of Brutus [Caesar’s primary assassin] as a female because historically women are not listened to,” Mr. Wiggins continued. “Rehearsals have been full of wonderful discoveries. We are working hard and falling in love with Shakespeare all over again.”

The Department of Theatre will conclude its season on a lighter note with Kiss the Bride, written by John J. Wooten, producing artistic director of Premiere Stages, the professional theatre in residence at Kean. Directed by Wes Grantom of New York’s Slant Theatre Project, Kiss the Bride will run April 1 – 9 in the Zella Fry Theatre, located in Vaughn Eames Hall. In this madcap comedy – a stark contrast in style and language from Julius Caesar - a groom schemes to murder his frequently married and very wealthy bride on their wedding night.

“It is always our plan to expose theatre students and audiences alike to a wide canon of theatre literature, from the ancient Greeks to the current Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning playwrights,” said longtime faculty member and department spokeswoman Holly Logue of Kean’s eclectic spring season. “We also consider a variety of genres, from dramas to comedies, musicals, original works, theatre for the young and very young, and devised pieces created by the members of an ensemble. This year's season includes a wide range of opportunities for our students and audiences to explore all that a live theatre experience has to offer.”

Standard tickets to all Department of Theatre performances are $15, with $12 tickets available for Kean faculty, staff, and alumni, and $10 tickets available for students. To purchase tickets or request a season brochure, please call the Kean Stage box office at 908-737-SHOW (7469), email, or visit

Photo by Yadira Hernández.

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