In Central Park, New York City, the Public Theater puts out an an annual summer program called Shakespeare in the Park. The program this year launched on May 23 with a performance of Julius Caesar.
However, there’s a slight alteration to the title character this year. Caesar, who is brutally stabbed and murdered in cold blood in the play, has been swapped out with an actor dressed in attire to bear resemblance to President Donald Trump.
Apparently, the play was purposely chosen this year to mirror the Roman dictator and Trump. A description of the play on the Public Theater’s website states that the Trump-inspired take on the classic political drama “has never felt more contemporary.”
They describe the Trump-imaged Caesar as “magnetic, populist, irreverent,” and “bent on absolute power.” The description also notes that a “small band of patriots, devoted to the country’s democratic traditions, must decide how to oppose him.”
In the play, which is directed by Oskar Eustis, a group of conspirators stab Caesar (Trump) to death on the Senate floor. In the explicit scene, the Trumpian Caesar is attacked by the Senators and stabbed to death as an American flag hovers overhead.
“The actor playing Caesar was dressed in a business suit, with a royal blue tie, hanging a couple inches below the belt line, with reddish-blonde hair — just like Trump,” Laura Sheaffer, a sales manager at Salem Media, told Mediaite.“I always go to Shakespeare in the park, but I wasn’t expecting to see this. They had the full murder scene onstage, and blood was spewing everywhere out of his body.”
According to Sheaffer, the actress playing Calpurnia, Caesar’s wife, bore a striking resemblance to first lady Melania Trump. A “slavic accent” is even emphasized by the actress playing the character.
Sheaffer said the overall play makes a “mockery of the office of the President.”
“To be honest I thought it was shocking and distasteful,” Sheaffer continued. “If this had happened to any other president — even as recently as Barack Obama or George W. Bush — it would not have flown. People would have been horrified. I mean it was the on-stage murder of the president of the United States.”
Sheaffer pointed out that the play ends with characters celebrating the death of Caesar (Trump). “The message it sent was that if you don’t support the president, it’s ok to assassinate him. I don’t love President Trump, but he’s the president. You can’t assassinate him on a stage.”
“Kathy Griffin got so much coverage for what she did, everyone was horrified, so why is no one horrified by this, which is essentially the murder of the President of the United States in front of 2,000 people?” Sheaffer said.
— Playbill (@playbill) May 30, 2017
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