A woman in a man’s world

The Brooklyn Paper
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A theater company has made one slight change from the norm in its production of Julius Caesar, operating under the theory that a Julius by any other gender would smell as sweet — and probably even sweeter.

The directors have cast a woman in the title role.

“Because we are setting it as contemporary, there’s no reason why women can’t be senators or politicians,” said Jessica Lane Weiss, co-director of the Smith Street Stage production.

The role will be played by Sarah Dacey Charles, a 50-year-old actress with ample experience on Broadway.

“I wanted to get back home and do some local plays and some Shakespeare,” said Charles, who has performed in Les Miserables, Sunset Boulevard, and Pride and Prejudice.

Weiss said the directors did not decide out of the gate to make Caesar a woman. But when they held auditions and actress Sarah Dacey Charles read, they realized she was the right (wo)man for the role.

“It changes all of the relationships in a sense,” said Weiss. “They don’t respect her leadership. In today’s world, when a man is talking about a woman in that position, it’s much more charged.”

Weiss and co-director Jonathan Hopkins decided to cast men in most of the other senator roles.

“It ended up reflecting modern society,” said Weiss. “It’s a man’s world, but there are some women breaking into it.”

Julius Caesar by Smith Street Stage in Carroll Park (Carroll Street between Court and Smith streets, une 28, 29 and 30, July 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 11, 12, 13, and 14, 7 pm, free.

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at

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Reader Feedback

Elbert Fines says:
Dude looks like a lady!
June 15, 2013, 8:12 am
Zarda from South Slope says:
Good for you! Great to see some creativity and this local group in Brooklyn is just the place to practice this reversal in the craft.
June 17, 2013, 1:04 pm

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