The Tragedy of ‘Julius Caesar’ takes the Norvell stage next week

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 8, 2018

First published in 1623, Scholars generally believe that Shakespeare wrote Julius Caesar in 1599, about the same time he wrote the comedy As You Like It.  One of several plays Shakespeare wrote based on true events from Roman history, Julius Caesar is a tragedy about the noted Roman general who made himself ruler of Rome in 44BC.

Shakespeare most likely borrowed from historical sources for Julius Caesar, including an English translation of Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans by the Roman historian Plutarch.

Although named Julius Caesar, the play really focuses more on the character of Brutus, a close friend of the title character, and his struggle between the conflicting demands of honor, patriotism, and friendship.

Piedmont Players Youth Theatre production of Julius Caesar is PPT’s 8th grade school show.  All Rowan County 8th grade classes will take a field trip to the Norvell Theater to see the live stage production Feb. 1315.   Public Show Dates: Feb. 16-17 and 23-24 at 7:30 p.m.  For tickets call 704-633-5471 or purchase online at Adults $12, students/seniors $10.  Producing Partners:  Edward & Susan Norvell.

Who was Julius Caesar?

Julius Caesar was a Roman politician and general who played a critical role in the events that led to the demise of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire.  Considered by many historians to be one of the greatest military commanders in history, Caesar’s victories and achievements gained him unmatched military power and influence, causing some to become concerned he may become too powerful.  When the Senate ordered Caesar to step down from his military command and return to Rome, he refused, resulting in a civil war.

After winning the war and assuming control of government, Caesar began to make serious social and governmental reforms, but the underlying political conflicts had not been resolved.
Ignoring the warning of a soothsayer (Beware the Ides of March), Caesar was assassinated by a group of rebellious senators, including his friend, Brutus on March 15, 44 BC.

The assassination of Caesar sparked a series of civil wars and the constitutional government of the Republic was never fully restored.  Caesar’s adopted heir Octavian (later known as Augustus) rose to sole power after defeating his opponents in the war and the era of the Roman Empire began.

Did you know?

  • Denzel Washington played the role of Brutus in a 2005 production of Julius Caesar on Broadway.
  • John Wilkes Booth, the assassin of Abraham Lincoln, claimed to be inspired by Brutus. Booth’s father, Junius Brutus Booth, was named for Brutus, and Booth and his brother had performed in a production of Julius Caesar in New York just 6 months before the assassination. On the night of the assassination, Booth is alleged to have shouted Sic semper tyrannis (a phrase attributed to Brutus) while leaping to the stage of Ford’s Theater.

Meet the Cast

CAESAR: GARRETT JENNINGS 11th Grade, North Rowan High School

CALPURNIA: MALLORY FREEZE  12th Grade, Concord High School

BRUTUS:  JOSEPH CLARK 11th Grade, Gray Stone

PORTIA: ELLIE JONES 9th Grade, Salisbury High School

CASSIUS: JONAH EVANS 12th Grade, Carson High School

CASCA : ELIJAH CARPENTER 10th Grade, Carson High School

CINNA: LAURA BULLOCK 11th Grade, Salisbury High School

DECIUS: KEVIN LEICHMAN 11th Grade, North Rowan High School

LIGARUS: HANNAH WELLS 11th Grade, Davie County High School

METELLUS CIMBER: JAIME WEAVER 8th Grade, North Hills Christian School


CICERO:  CLAIRE GARNER 11th Grade, Salisbury High School

PUBLIUS :  MEG BIVENS 7th Grade, China Grove Middle School


FLAVIUS: COHEN JOYNER 7th Grade, Southeast Middle School

MURELLUS: CHLOE CORLEY 12th Grade, Gray Stone

MARK ANTONY: ALI KHATIB 8th Grade, North Rowan Middle School

LEPIDUS: MYA LANGFORD 8th Grade, Knox Middle School

OCTAVIUS: JACOB JACKSON 10th Grade, JL Jackson Academy

PINDARUS: MEREDITH SWAIM 10th Grade, West Rowan High School

SOOTHSAYER: ISAIAH ENAIGBE 8th Grade, Knox Middle School


CINNA THE POET: JESSICA DRIVER 12th Grade, Rowan Early College


GRACE MCCOY 9th Grade, Homeschooled

FREYA OBERMUELLER  11th Grade, Salisbury High School

MATTHEW LYNCH 6th Grade, Homeschooled

GRACIE SPIELER  5th Grade, Homeschooled

FARES KHATIB. 7th Grade, North Rowan Middle School

MEGAN PENDERGRASS  8th Grade, Southeast Middle School

COURTNEY WILLIAMS  7th Grade, Salisbury Academy

EVA WALTERS  5th Grade, Morgan Elementary School

LYDIA SPRINKLE. 5th Grade, Morgan Elementary School

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