Gaius Julius Caesar, probably best known today as the recipient of multiple stab wounds and for uttering “Et tu, Brute?” in Shakespeare’s play, was a Roman politician and general at a critical time in Roman history. Before his infamous dictatorial reign, Caesar waged war against several Gallic tribes, resulting in the expansion of the Roman Republic over all of Gaul. This had the exact outcome Caesar was aiming for: he rose to prominence in Rome’s political speheres. Caesar’s vast military achievements garnered him unmatched power and influence, and it became abundantly clear that he was not here to make friends. After much political turmoil, and using the age-old currency of bloodthirsty warlord-ing, Caesar defeated Pompey (who then fled to Egypt and was assassinated) and gained control of the Roman Republic. Caesar initiated many reforms, and the shakeup in power and focus enraged a group of rebellious senators who, led by Gaius Cassius Longinus, Marcus Junius Brutus and Decimus Junius Brutus, assassinated Caesar on the Ides of March. His assassination was the beginning of the end for the Roman Republic, which would soon become the Roman Empire. Julius Caesar’s infamous status as “dictator in perpetuity” along with the documentation of his reign through the letters and speeches of Cicero, and biographies by Suetonius and Plutarch have cemented Caesar’s place in history. Comparisons to every unfavorable political figure since his time have kept him relevant in pop culture in ways poor Pompey could only dream of, though generally not in a positive light.
In Allison Page’s one act play, ORANGE JULIUS, mutiny is brewing at the very last remaining smoothie stand in the middle of a mall; a mall which is steadily losing its customer base to online shopping. Julius has just been promoted to manager. There are whispers that he’s only been promoted due to the convenience of his name, but he’s determined to rise above the murmurs and bring not only the smoothie stand, but also the American mall back to its rightful place as the hub of youth and social identity. He assumes himself to be universally loved, feared, and respected, unaware that the entire rest of the smoothie stand, and eventually the mall itself, are festering a collective growing resentment culminating in a brutal attack during Julius’ daily lecture to his employees. What will become of Julius’ enemies, former friends, and the culture of American teenagers, after the fall of everything we all thought we knew? Allison seeks to explore how the smallest power is wielded in the least powerful places, and to look to the future of America teenagers — arguably the least powerful but most power-mongering among us — in a landscape where their traditional meeting place has disappeared, and a new one has already formed, away from the prying eyes of adults.
JULIUS CAESAR or ORANGE JULIUS by Allison Page
Staged Reading on October 12, 2018 at the EXIT Theatre
Allison Page is a writer/actor/playwright/Artistic Director of San Francisco sketch comedy company Killing My Lobster. She is originally from northern, rural Minnesota, has been in the Bay Area for 10 years, and spent most of her early 20s as a hairstylist trimming mullets in a Walmart. Her writing has been featured in Women of Letters, Write Club SF, Shipwreck, The SF Olympians Festival, SF Theater Pub and others. Her published works include HILARITY, a full length drama about comedy, and an autobiographical piece in Airmail: Women of Letters from Penguin Australia. Her commissioned full length play KILGALLEN/JONES had its world premiere in San Francisco at The EXIT Theatre in 2017. In addition to ORANGE JULIUS, she is currently co-writing a full length play, VAMPIRE CHRISTMAS, with Stuart Bousel, which opens at The EXIT Theatre in November 2018. She is fascinated and terrified by politics. Occasionally she writes absurd theatre satire on Medium @AllisonLynnPage.