Public Theater Stands Behind Trump-Inspired ‘Julius Caesar’

The Public Theater, the longtime New York nonprofit currently taking fire for its Free Shakespeare in the Park production of “Julius Caesar,” has responded to the outcry by refusing to back down.

“We stand completely behind our production of ‘Julius Caesar,'” the theater said of the show, which makes overt references to the Trump administration in its modern-day depiction of Shakespeare’s story. “We recognize that our interpretation of the play has provoked heated discussion; audiences, sponsors, and supporters have expressed varying viewpoints and opinions. Such discussion is exactly the goal of our civically-engaged theater; this discourse is the basis of a healthy democracy.”

The statement continued, “Our production of ‘Julius Caesar’ in no way advocates violence towards anyone,” referencing the controversial moment in the play when the Trump-like Caesar is assassinated. “Shakespeare’s play, and our production, make the opposite point: those who attempt to defend democracy by undemocratic means pay a terrible price and destroy the very thing they are fighting to save. For over 400 years, Shakespeare’s play has told this story and we are proud to be telling it again in Central Park.”

The production has been in previews for nearly four weeks, but only recently saw funders pull out after “Julius Caesar” was criticized in right-leaning news outlets. The opening night of the production, scheduled for Monday, remains on track.

The Public Theater is a venerable New York institution that began with the creation of the Shakespeare in the Park program and eventually expanded to a multi-stage Off Broadway venue that has birthed Broadway successes including “Hamilton” and “A Chorus Line.”

More Legit

  • Beau Willimon podcast

    Stagecraft Podcast: Beau Willimon on How Trump Changed 'The Parisian Woman' (Listen)

    The Public Theater, the longtime New York nonprofit currently taking fire for its Free Shakespeare in the Park production of “Julius Caesar,” has responded to the outcry by refusing to back down. “We stand completely behind our production of ‘Julius Caesar,’” the theater said of the show, which makes overt references to the Trump administration […]

  • The Minutes

    Chicago Theater Review: 'The Minutes' by Tracy Letts

    The Public Theater, the longtime New York nonprofit currently taking fire for its Free Shakespeare in the Park production of “Julius Caesar,” has responded to the outcry by refusing to back down. “We stand completely behind our production of ‘Julius Caesar,’” the theater said of the show, which makes overt references to the Trump administration […]

  • D.C. Pre-Broadway Review: 'Mean Girls'

    D.C. Pre-Broadway Review: 'Mean Girls'

    The Public Theater, the longtime New York nonprofit currently taking fire for its Free Shakespeare in the Park production of “Julius Caesar,” has responded to the outcry by refusing to back down. “We stand completely behind our production of ‘Julius Caesar,’” the theater said of the show, which makes overt references to the Trump administration […]

  • School Girls, or the African Mean

    Off Broadway Review: 'School Girls, or the African Mean Girls Play'

    The Public Theater, the longtime New York nonprofit currently taking fire for its Free Shakespeare in the Park production of “Julius Caesar,” has responded to the outcry by refusing to back down. “We stand completely behind our production of ‘Julius Caesar,’” the theater said of the show, which makes overt references to the Trump administration […]

  • Escape to Margaritaville review

    Pre-Broadway Review: Jimmy Buffett Musical 'Escape to Margaritaville'

    The Public Theater, the longtime New York nonprofit currently taking fire for its Free Shakespeare in the Park production of “Julius Caesar,” has responded to the outcry by refusing to back down. “We stand completely behind our production of ‘Julius Caesar,’” the theater said of the show, which makes overt references to the Trump administration […]

  • Kevin Spacey Sexual Assault

    Old Vic Theater Logs 20 Complaints About Kevin Spacey, Pledges to Improve Accountability

    The Public Theater, the longtime New York nonprofit currently taking fire for its Free Shakespeare in the Park production of “Julius Caesar,” has responded to the outcry by refusing to back down. “We stand completely behind our production of ‘Julius Caesar,’” the theater said of the show, which makes overt references to the Trump administration […]

  • The Drama League Expands DirectorFest to

    The Drama League Expands DirectorFest

    The Public Theater, the longtime New York nonprofit currently taking fire for its Free Shakespeare in the Park production of “Julius Caesar,” has responded to the outcry by refusing to back down. “We stand completely behind our production of ‘Julius Caesar,’” the theater said of the show, which makes overt references to the Trump administration […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content