Plato was among many to observe that art imitates reality. He also was among many who’ve advocated that art -- especially poetry and drama -- should be severely censored for the good of the people. The fear that art depicts the worst behavior within us, and that it’s dangerous to give people access to it lest they emulate it, is an ongoing controversy. Shakespeare’s plays, for example, have been censored, banned, and considered dangerous since they first took the stage. The African-American Shakespeare Company takes aim at the philosophy and one of its targets by adapting Julius Caesar, a play that certainly forces us to think about some most unfortunate things in the world regarding politics, power struggles, and betrayal. The company sets the play in the ongoing civil wars of West Africa. It is meant to have us consider not just about Caesar as a leader, but also the larger issues that are still relevant. Directed by actor and playwright Michael Gene Sullivan, Julius Caesar tells the story of dead dictators and the desperate people who put them into place.
Saturdays, Sundays. Starts: March 10. Continues through April 1, 2012