The Acting Company has kicked off its 2017 season and 44th national tour with engagements in the Valley this week, including Mesa. Two gripping dramas, Marcus Gardley’s “X” and William Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” will be performed as part of a unique collaboration with the Mesa Arts Center, Arizona State University’s Herberger School of Film, Dance and Theatre, Herberger Theater Center and The Acting Company.
“This unique collaboration between Mesa Arts Center (MAC), ASU, Herberger Theater Center and The Acting Company will give Valley residents and students an opportunity to experience incredible live theater, and in the case of ‘X¸’ a world premiere,” said Casey Blake, director of public relations for the Mesa Arts Center. “Both plays explore topics of leadership and adversity – always relevant, but perhaps even more so in the current political climate. ‘Julius Caesar’ and ‘X’ will share stages at Herberger and at MAC, placing timeless Shakespeare back to back with a fresh new approach to theater by award-winning poet and playwright, Marcus Gardley. Whether only seeing one play or both, audiences will undoubtedly leave with something to talk about.”
The visitation of The Acting Company includes events taking place in multiple venues, reaching students, audiences and school/community groups. This is one of the first in a wave of collaborations between the university, theaters/producers and presenting organizations, which will offer The Acting Company opportunities to take risks in the development of new work and share in that process with students and community.
“It’s an exciting, innovative approach that embraces America’s current cultural landscape and better serves the communities we visit on tour,” The Acting Company’s Executive Director Elisa Spencer-Kaplan said.
“X” is a new play by Gardley, directed by Ian Belknap about the assassination of Malcolm X. The story we think we know and illuminating details that have seldom been shared, is brought to vivid, lyrical life.
Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar,” directed by Devin Brain, tackles essential questions about the balance of ambition, personal loyalty, and love of country. Shakespeare’s timeless political masterpiece has never been more relevant. Through the story of Julius Caesar, a rising political star torn down by his most trusted allies, audiences witness the art of persuasion, the ugliness of back-room politics, and the historical patterns we can’t stop repeating.
Performances in Mesa
Mesa will host the world premiere of “X” Feb. 2-3 at 7:30 p.m. and “Julius Caesar” will play Feb. 4 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Mesa Arts Center is located at One E. Main St. in downtown Mesa. Tickets to the performances are $25 and $40 when tickets are purchased for both productions and are available through the Mesa Arts Center Box Office at MesaArtsCenter.com or by calling 480-644-6500.