Drama department provides access to world-class entertainment
TNE Editor

Drama department provides access to world-class entertainment

Published 10/5/18

Colby Luper

TNE Writer

The drama department is screening the Shakespearian play “Julius Caesar.” The play is one of William Shakespeare’s many works based on Roman history. The play focuses on the assassination of Roman emperor Julius Caesar and the lives of those who conspired to murder him.

The screening is at the NSU Playhouse which often features live entertainment for NSU faculty, staff, students and the general public. However, this event differs in that it is not live. The play is a recorded performance from the National Theatre in London that the drama department has gained permission to download and show at the playhouse.

“The National Theatre shows provide our drama students and the local community a glimpse at some of the highest caliber theatrical productions in the world,” said Christopher Miller, theater associate professor. “A great deal of talent, time and support goes into each of their productions. They are the theatrical equivalent of the NFL.”

This production of “Julius Caesar” is directed by Nicholas Hytner. Hytner is a famed theatre director, film director and film producer. He served as the artistic director of the National Theatre from April 2003, until March 2015. The main cast of the production includes Michelle Fairley as Cassius, David Calder as Caesar, Ben Whishaw as Brutus and David Morrissey as Mark Antony.

“These actors and the people who work to put on these shows are some of the best in the world,” said Elliott Njita, South Africa senior. “It is awesome to be able to see that kind of talent all the way from London. It is inspiring, especially if you want to have a career in theatre or film in the future.”

The National Theatre screenings serve another purpose as well. They add to the overall number of productions the drama department can provide access to. None of the live performances at the playhouse conflict with National Theatre screenings. Because the drama department does not have to work on producing these shows, they serve as additional productions to be shown while a live drama department production is still being developed. The department’s goal for these screenings is to aid in cultivating a theatre-going audience in Tahlequah.

“We hope these showings will garner more interest in our live productions,” said Miller. “Just as there is a great deal of enjoyment to be had watching both a professional sport on television as there is here at a local stadium, there is a great deal of enjoyment to be had both watching a high-quality recording of a National Theatre production and a local production here at the NSU Playhouse.”

A number of screenings are planned throughout the academic year.

“We scheduled four National Theatre screenings this year,” said Robyn Pursely, drama associate professor. “The first has already past, and Julius Caesar is the next one. In February we will show Frankenstein, starring Benedict Cumberbatch. The screening season will then end in April with a showing of Macbeth.”

The National Theatre production of Julius Caesar is at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 1 at the Playhouse. The run time is two hours and 15 minutes with no interval. Tickets are free for students with a valid NSU ID and are $10 each for all else who wish to attend. It should be noted that the show contains strobe lighting. Information about the production is available at ntlive.nationaltheatre.org.uk. Tickets can be bought online at tickets.vendini.com or in person at the NSU Playhouse box office.

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