In February of 2008 the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, Massachusetts presented Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar directed by Arthur Nauzyciel. For those unfamiliar with the American Repertory Theatre, a brief description is in order.
As its acronym ART indicates, it is a noncommercial theatre dedicated to art. The kind of art the theatre produces and its worth has been a question since the ART’s arrival in Cambridge in 1980. For most of that time, its artistic director was Robert Brustein who was at once conservative and experimental in his tastes. Under his helm, the ART presented classics old and modern, generally those familiar to his public, as well as the occasional new work. Debut plays were often relegated to a second stage where their performances were given lower production values. On the main stage, Ibsen, Shaw, Pirandello, Strindberg, Beckett and other stalwarts of the modern drama anthology reigned supreme. Shakespeare and Molière were the most frequent representatives of the older classical repertoire.