Despite being written four centuries ago, Julius Caesar expertly captures both the frustrated feelings of powerlessness and the powerful motivation for revolution that corrupt governments bring about in their people. Considering the current political situation in the Western world, this might be one of Shakespeare’s most relevant plays in 2019. However, it’s been proven time and time again that when we can’t see ourselves represented in media, we tend to find it much more difficult to connect to… which means that even a brilliant work like Julius Caesar suffers without a diverse cast.
First time GVSF director Tamara McCarthy aims to remedy this problem by intentionally casting women of a variety of ages in many of the roles traditionally given to middle-aged men: including Cassius, leader of the rebellion, and Mark Antony, Caesar’s most trusted ally. By curating this gender balanced cast, Tamara hopes that more audience members will be able to relate to the story they see playing out on stage; allowing for a more meaningful engagement with this brilliant classic.
I decided to chat about this gender balanced casting with Stephie Bright, a young CCPA graduate who has been cast in the powerful role of Cassius. We had a great conversation about her experience stepping into this role, which she’s very excited to play. Here’s what she had to say when I asked her whether she had encountered any challenges so far:
Stephie: “For sure. I think the biggest thing right now is physicality. As Tamara has said many times, I don’t take up as much space as guys do a lot of the time, so it’s very empowering to be learning how that feels. It’s great. Especially as this is becoming more and more prominent in the industry, all of this exploration will be really valuable and usable for me in future work”
Later in our conversation, I asked Stephie whether or not she thinks it’s still important to cast women in roles such as these, in 2019. I was very on-board with her answer. Check out the video below to see what she had to say!