According to the Boston Globe, theater companies across the country that perform Shakespeare are getting death threats over a New York Public Theater play in Central Park that depicts the death of Ceasar — but who looks like President Donald Trump.
The senders of these death threats are “outraged over the Public Theater’s controversial staging” of Shakespeare’s “Caesar” that features the infamous stabbing scene with a character inspired by Trump — but they appear to have gotten the locations a little off.
One such theater is Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, Massachusetts, who have been “inundated with a flood of venomous e-mails, phone messages, and social media posts condemning them for the Central Park production.”
One sender told the management of the Lenox theater that they wish “the worst possible life you could have and hope you all get sick and die.” Another told them their “play depicting the murder of our President is nothing but pure hatred.”
The Lenox Shakespeare company is far from the only Shakespeare-performing theater who’ve gotten these kinds of threats. Raphael Parry, the director of Shakespeare Dallas in Texas, told the Globe that his theater “has received about 80 messages, including threats of rape, death, and wishes that the theater’s staff is ‘sent to ISIS to be killed with real knives.'” Theaters in Washington, D.C. and elsewhere in New York said they’ve received threats as well.
“We just got slammed,” Parry said. “It’s pretty amazing the vitriol, the wishing we would die and our family would die. A whole lot of them say that we should burn in hell.”
The directors of these two companies have differing theories about why their theaters have been targets. Dallas’s Parry blames “web analytics” that cause people searching for “Shakespeare in the Park” in Texas to see his company first, while Allyn Burrows of the Lenox, Massachusetts company has another explanation.
“What might be gurgling up for them is their ire around having to do Shakespeare in high school,” Burrows told the Globe. “They’re like, ‘you know what? I never realized I hated my English teacher as much as I did.’”
Read the entire report about Shakespeare companies around the country receiving death threats over the controversial Trump-inspired “Caesar” via the Boston Globe.