Over 800 people attended a post-apocalyptic production of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar at The Caloundra Events Centre from 12-19 August. The production was part of a performance-as-research and community engagement project led by Discipline Leader in Drama, Dr Jo Loth, and supported by an $8, 600 grant from the Sunshine Coast Council’s Regional Arts Development Fund. The project investigated modes of contemporary Shakespearean performance, and built capacity among the Sunshine Coast theatrical community. Dr Loth comments that “In a time of political megalomania and media frenzy, Shakespeare’s words hold striking relevance. In this project we explored ways to re-imagine this text for today’s audience through performance techniques such as movement sequences, cross-gender casting, live music and design elements.”
Stage Whispers described the performance as follows: “We are in a dystopian Mad Max world… The sound of a helicopter overhead is heard as its searchlights sweep the stage to a dirty electric guitar riff… Cassius and Brutus emerge and the machinations of the plot start to evolve in a skilfully edited 95-minute version of the text.”
The creative team included multi-award winning Lighting Designer Jason Glenwright who mentored four aspiring lighting designers, including three USC drama students. They had the opportunity to observe Jason’s process from the start of the production conception through to opening night.
Poster: Graphic Design by Carina Berg and Howard Kongstein. Photography by Hayley Condon.
Photograph of performance scene by Simon Woods.