Shakespeare in the Park's Julius Caesar Celebrates Opening Night

Trump-like Caesar just tu Brute for theatre’s big sponsors

Trump-like Caesar just tu Brute for theatre’s big sponsors

Delta Airlines and Bank of America cancelled sponsorships of The Public Theater's "Shakespeare in the Park" series in NY due to this year's controversial adaptation of Julius Caesar.

Fox News reported Sunday that the play appears to depict the USA president "being brutally stabbed to death by women and minorities", saying that the title character looks "very similar to the tall, blond businessman" commander-in-chief.

"No matter what your political stance may be, the graphic staging of Julius Caesar at this summer's Free Shakespeare in the Park does not reflect Delta Air Lines' values", the airline said in a statement.

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Later Sunday night, Charlotte, North Carolina-based Bank of America said it was withdrawing its funding for the production.

'Such discussion is exactly the goal of our civically-engaged theater; this discourse is the basis of a healthy democracy. "Had this intention been made known to us, we would have decided not to sponsor it".

The visceral power of seeing a Trump-like figure on stage, covered in blood, has led incensed critics on the right to ignore the play's 400 year history as well as its message ― which, for those who slept through 11th grade English, is basically don't kill your local despotic ruler.

Guy Benson, a Fox News contributor said, "This is so incredibly in poor taste that I'm surprised they haven't cast Kathy Griffin in the production".

The nonprofit theater that prides itself on its innovative and challenging work says it is aware that the play has "provoked heated discussion" among audiences, sponsors and supporters.

The group's production of Julius Caesar will run in New York's Central Park until its last performance on June 18.

The theatre said it was "proud" to be telling Shakespeare's play - which was first staged almost 420 years ago - in Central Park again.

A statement on the Public Theater's website addressed the funding cuts but said it stands completely behind their Julius Caesar production.

At the start of the third act of the re-imagined Shakespeare play, Roman dictator Julius Caesar is knifed to death on the senate floor by senators who fear he is becoming a tyrant.

The Public Theater and the White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Sunday. "Shakespeare's political masterpiece has never felt more contemporary", it added.

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