By Joe Oliger
Actors new to PSF and veterans of many seasons met Tuesday for the first rehearsal of Julius Caesar, directed by PSF Producing Artistic Director Patrick Mulcahy.
After months of preparation, about 30 actors, designers, and stage management gathered together. As one might expect, there was some nervousness. The veteran actors all greeted one another like old friends—and introduced themselves to the new company members just like they had with each other, as old friends.
“There will be blood,” Patrick announced to the cast, “and yes, you will look great.” Laughter rippled through the room. He talked about his directing style, his history with the play, as well as the history of Julius Caesar, the historical figure and Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar.
“All great plays set up more questions than they answer,” he told the cast. While Julius Caesar is based on real events, Patrick focuses on the play itself, taking elements from the past, and present to create a message that is applicable in any time or place.
The cast includes Emmy-nominated Shakespearean actor Keith Hamilton Cobb in the title role. Broadway veteran Rosalyn Coleman plays Caesar’s wife, Calpurnia.
Long-time PSF company member Greg Wood portrays Cassius, who conspires with Brutus, played by Henry Woronicz, former artistic director and resident actor/director at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival making his PSF debut in this role. Spencer Plachy returns as Marc Antony, along with Grace Gonglewski as Portia, Christopher Patrick Mullen as Casca, Jacob Dresch as Marullus and others, Steven Dennis as Cicero.