The controversial new age interpretation of Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” produced by the The Public Theater features a Trump-like figure getting stabbed, and now the director is calling for more “fine art.”
“We can’t allow ourselves to feel overwhelmed. We can’t allow ourselves to feel we’re completely isolated. We’re not,” Oskar Eustis, artistic director of The Public Theater, told the Associated Press. “We’re speaking for the majority of the country and we need to draw strength from that and step out and take the risks that will really fulfill the arts’ historic function.”
The anti-Trump play, which began showings in late May, has stirred protests from Trump supporters. Delta Airlines and Bank of America have pulled funding from The Public Theater.
Eustis sees all of this as a positive change.
“The brouhaha over Julius Caesar is an illustration of the fact that the arts have the ability to be on the cutting edge of positive change,” he said. “We have the ability to make statements about democracy, about free speech, about robust debates, about the fact that controversy is a good thing for the arts. It’s what the arts are supposed to provoke. This is an opportunity that I hope folks won’t let go by.”
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