Angry at Trump-like Caesar, emailers insult wrong theatre

BOSTON — A Massachusetts Shakespeare company has found itself on the receiving end of some vicious emails from people angry about a production of “Julius Caesar” in which a Donald Trump-like character gets assassinated.

The problem is that Shakespeare & Co. in Lenox had nothing to do with The Public Theater of New York’s production that ended last weekend.

“They’re hostile, they’re abusive, and they wished us ill will,” said Allyn Burrows, artistic director at Shakespeare & Co.

“Your play depicting the murder of our President is nothing but pure hatred,” one email said. “You are vial (sic) despicable excuses for human beings. I wish you all the worst possible life you could have and hope you all get sick and die.”

Another read: “What exactly were you idiots thinking about producing a play that depicts the killing of our President? Does anyone over there have an ounce of morality, decency, and or common sense?”

Many were peppered with expletives, but some were a bit more polite.

The emails, several dozen in all, started arriving earlier this month when Delta Air Lines and Bank of America pulled their sponsorship of the New York version of “Julius Caesar,” in which the lead had fluffy blond hair and wore a suit with a long red tie that hung below the beltline.

Burrows attributes the nasty emails to hasty internet searches.

“We have the domain name, so if you Google Shakespeare we’re pretty much at the top,” he said. Several other Shakespeare theatres companies around the nation have reported receiving similar messages.

Shakespeare & Co. has not reported the nasty notes to police, but instead sent the angry emailers a dignified response.

“Thank you for engaging us in conversation,” it says. “We support the arts and freedom of expression. We understand not everyone will agree with certain interpretations of music, art, dance, or drama, but that is where important debate can emerge.”

The reply goes on to explain that the emailers had the wrong Shakespeare theatre and provides a link to a synopsis of “Julius Caesar,” a play about the perils of unbridled ambitions.

No one has bothered to apologize, Burrows said.

There are two lessons to be learned, he said.

The first is about the level of animosity in American politics.

“It just speaks directly to the polarization there is in political discussion, and there is such a sadness to it,” he said.

The other is the power of William Shakespeare 400 years after his death.

“We’re thankful that Shakespeare is still a hot property, because we’re feeding off that,” he said.

Just Posted

Suspect arrested after collision in stolen truck

Driver faces charges in court today

WATCH: From humble beginnings Red Deer-based wrestling promotion is growing

It wasn’t that long ago that Dylon Featherstone and the Canadian Wrestling… Continue reading

WATCH: Families make yo-yos and weaved yarn at Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery

It was all about making yo-yos and yarn bombing at Red Deer… Continue reading

Solve mysteries with Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson in Red Deer

At three sold-out one act Sherlock Holmes plays in Red Deer, theatre… Continue reading

WATCH Replay Red Deer Feb. 18: Your weekly news highlights

Watch news from Red Deer and Central Alberta

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Toddler breaks leg after boot sucked into escalator at Vancouver airport

VANCOUVER — A Calgary woman is reminding parents about the dangers of… Continue reading

Liberals looking at creating use-it-or-lose-it leave for fathers, Trudeau says

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is raising the idea of creating… Continue reading

Trump gets angry about election meddling, but not at Russia

‘Weirdest thing’: Trump expresses anger, but not over Russian election-meddling

New doping charge could hurt Russia’s chance at reinstatement

Russia could lose its chance to be reinstated before the end of the Winter Olympics because of a doping charge against curling bronze medallist Alexander Krushelnitsky.

#Metoo movement causing confusion in many men, fear of missteps with women: experts

Being painted by the same sweeping brush as those alleged to have mistreated women has angered men

Virtue and Moir break their own world record

Virtue and Moir break short dance record to sit first in ice dance at Olympics

Calgary man dies in Mexico following sudden illness

Troy Black was with his wife, Lindsay, in Puerto Vallarta when he began vomiting blood on Thursday

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month