A New York-based theater group responded to criticism Monday after stirring up a backlash by putting on a production of Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” in which a Donald Trump-like dictator is knifed to death onstage.
As we reported previously, Delta Air Lines and Bank of America pulled their sponsorship of The Public Theater over the production, which is part of the Shakespeare in the Park series. In the play, Julius Caesar appears as a man in a business suit wearing a long tie.
The AP reports that The Public Theater released a statement today saying it stands “completely behind” the production. The statement says the play has “provoked heated discussion,” adding that “such discussion is exactly the goal of our civically-engaged theater; this discourse is the basis of a healthy democracy.”
New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer also supported the production, addressing Delta and BofA in a tweet that says: “What a mistake. Actually reading Julius Caesar might help in the future. Your copy is in the mail.”
Trump’s name is never mentioned in the New York production, the AP notes, adding: “Though the Public’s version of William Shakespeare’s classic play is unchanged from its 400-year-old original, the production portrays Caesar with a gold bathtub and a pouty Slavic wife.”