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Protesters of Trumped-up Julius Caesar are threatening the wrong theater

Apparently because it has Shakespeare in its name. The theater thought it was lucky to score the URL shakespeare.org in the '90s.
Gregg Henry as the Donald Trump of Julius Caesar. Photo: Joan Marcus
Gregg Henry as the Donald Trump of Julius Caesar. Photo: Joan Marcus

Donald Trump fans protesting the current Shakespeare in the Park production of "Julius Caesar" are misguided.

That's not editorializing — it's fact. Trump supporters who object to the president being depicted as the ill-fated Caesar are phoning in death threats to an unrelated theater called Shakespeare & Co.

The Lenox, Massachusetts, theater group, which bought the shakespeare.org URL back in the '90s, has been getting heated-to-violent feedback since last Monday, the company's artistic director told the Washington Post.

“I walked in the office and people were like ‘Get this,’ and they started playing the messages that were coming in from like 4:30 in the morning,” said Allyn Burrows.

Email messages have been less than polite. “F— you,” one said. “hope you all who did this play about Trump are the first do die when ISIS COMES TO YOU f—– sumbags.”

Another said, “You are vile despicable excuses for human beings. I wish you all the worst possible life you could have and hope you all get sick and die.”

In the Shakespeare in the Park production, Trump-as-Caesar has a blond combover, a too-long red tie and is brutally murdered by knife. (The ending is unchanged from the Shakespeare play and recorded history.) That has stirred controversy, causing sponsors like Bank of America and Delta Air Lines to drop their support. Picketers have massed outside the theater, and one even rushed onstage and disrupted the performance.

(It has been pointed out that "Caesar" is not exactly an endorsement of murdering a politician, seeing as Caesar's murder leads to mob rule, the collapse of the Republic and the suicide of the assassins, but that has not calmed the angry crowds.)

For his part, Burrows said that the company debated how to respond to the messages. They ended up calling them back, as they would for anyone who left feedback for the theater. "We wanted to be measured,” he told the Post. “At first we didn’t even tell them that we’re not Shakespeare in the Park (that did Julius Caesar). We went right to the heart of the argument.”

He said that callers were less heated once they were reached, generally withdrawing their wishes that Shakespeare & Co. staffers get cancer.

 
 
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