Welcome to our Featured Play Spotlight. The Tragicomedy of Julia Caesar by Dave Hammers is a fantastic adaptation that lets students have a great time with Shakespeare – all while letting the audience see what’s going on behind the scenes.
Sarah and Dave think it would be fun to direct a play for drama club. And they both love Julius Caesar. What could go wrong?
How about a drama diva who wants to play the lead, wants her way with the story, and wants a post-death dance number? Rome is now in Georgia, Brutus is allergic to peanut butter, and there might be a giant killer robot on his way to crush Caesar’s enemies. Nothing wrong at all.
Why did we publish this play?
Parodies are tricky. You can play them totally wacky. Or you can find the balance between taking a story way left of centre and still find a genuine quality to the story. The Tragicomedy of Julia Caesar has that balance, and better still a million parts for girls in a Shakespeare play that is pretty bereft of female characters.
And on that note, this play has character, character, and more character. The best comedies are always based in strong characters who when they go after what they want, chaos ensues. You’ll never see Rome….Georgia in the same way again.
This full length is easy to stage, incredibly fun to play and a great way to open the door to Shakespeare.
Let’s hear from the author!
1. Why did you write this play?
The year before I wrote it, my school put on a parody of Hamlet, and as we were staging the production, I honestly just kept saying to myself “I could do this, I could take a Shakespeare play and write a parody of it.” And so once we were finished, I sat down and tried to write one myself, and Julia Caesar was the result.
2. Describe the theme in one or two sentences.
I think the major theme is the “chaotic fun” that surrounds a school play production.
3. What’s the most important visual for you in this play?
Brutus eating the peanut butter and jelly sandwich, placing it calmly back on the plate, and then falling face first into it as she “dies.”
4. If you could give one piece of advice for those producing the play, what would it be?
Have fun with it. It really is all about the fun and craziness that often surrounds putting on a play production at a school.
5. Why is this play great for student performers?
It’s fun, it allows the students to be their dramatic selves, and also helps them to learn a little about Shakespeare and Roman history as well.
Not right for your group right now? Search our play catalogue to find one that your performers will love!
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