Don’t Miss Tim Sailer as Cassius in Julius Caesar!

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A few days ago, our tour caravan was traveling to Murray, Kentucky. I was reading Alexander Chee’s exquisite novelThe Queen of the Night. It tells the story of an orphan, Lilliet, who becomes an opera singer in 19th-century France. The following quote struck me:

You have truly grown into your artistry. You sing to give pleasure…but it is not with that craven approach that goes out begging for applause; instead, it is a gift given from your own store of pleasure, a pleasure taken from the music. This is the only honest way to give this, I think.

Like singing for Lilliet, the pleasure I get from acting, particularly Shakespeare, comes from the material itself. It’s not about the glory of being an actor (that’s in short supply). It’s the sounds, the words, the rhetoric. He is a master. It’s been such a gift to speak these words on stages across the country. This is where the pleasure lies.

Tim Sailer as Cassius in JULIUS CAESAR. Photo by Tommy Thompson.

Tim Sailer as Cassius in JULIUS CAESAR. Photo by Tommy Thompson.

My love for Shakespeare didn’t start with reading his plays. I read a lot of them in high school and college. But I was such a poser. I pretended to like Shakespeare because, as someone who loves reading, I thought I was supposed to.

Tim Sailer as Cassius in JULIUS CAESAR. Photo by Tommy Thompson.

Tim Sailer as Cassius in JULIUS CAESAR. Photo by Tommy Thompson.

Shakespeare clicked for me when I attended one of his plays for the first time: a Guthrie Theater touring production of Othello. Iago was absolutely captivating. Othello, menacing. Desdemona, heartbreaking. This 400-year-old play was sizzling with life and vigor. I didn’t understand everything that the actors said, but I knew they were in control. It was funny and disturbing. Ugh, what a rush!

Now, I recognize Shakespeare’s brilliance when I read his plays. But I believe the real magic comes from seeing his plays and speaking his words. Shakespeare explores the best and worst of humanity. He wrestles with the private and public; the head, the guts, and the heart. It’s a joy. And it’s a gift to offer this gift to you. It becomes a wonderful energy cycle. And that’s ultimately only possible with an audience.

So thank you.

Thank you for attending our performance of Julius Caesarin Marion.

Thank you for seeing and hearing live Shakespeare anywhere. 

Thank you for putting on your own productions of his plays.

Thank you for allowing these wonderful words to come to life. 

-Tim

Tim Sailer as Cassius in JULIUS CAESAR. Photo by Tommy Thompson.
Tim Sailer as Cassius in JULIUS CAESAR. Photo by Tommy Thompson.

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