Julius Caesar title over red-and-black background.

The Freed Center for the Performing Arts at Ohio Northern University (ONU) is excited to release its full slate of theatre, dance and music events for the 2022-2023 season, starting with Julius Caesar on Sept. 29.

Tickets for all performances are now available for purchase through the four, eight or 12 flexible subscription packages that allow patrons to build their season subscription the way they want it, and save up to 20% off single ticket prices. Subscription package tickets can be distributed across multiple shows in any way and at any time.

Single tickets are available for purchase approximately six weeks prior to each event. Single tickets currently on sale include Julius Caesar and Swing! with the annual ONU Holiday Spectacular going on sale on Oct. 3.
Subscription packages and single tickets can be purchased online at www.FreedCenter.com, by phone at 419-772-1900 or in person at the Freed Center Box Office, Monday through Friday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The season opens on Thursday, Sept. 29 with Shakespeare’s epic political tragedy of Julius Caesar staged in the intimacy of the Stambaugh Studio Theatre with 7:30 p.m. performances Sept. 29 – Oct. 1, and 2 p.m. matinees Oct. 1 and 2.

Making his directing debut at ONU, Assistant Professor of Theatre James Savage, Jr., explains his approach to the play beginning with the “belief that art makes us think and, at its best, creates dialogue.” This is evident with Julius Caesar, a timeless play that audiences still find fascinating.

Savage describes the play’s similarities to our current society, which led to his directorial vision, saying, “Looking at our own contemporary political climate we can see the striking relevancy. To this end, I wanted this production to have a modern feel, but felt the need to shy away from a contemporary representation as a way for the audience to find their own parallels between the play and current events. I also wanted to find a way to include the audience, to ‘feel’ the world of the play by creating an atmosphere riddled with anxiety and angst. This led me to explore the theme of punk rock.”

Savage is a trained Meisner actor and a certified teacher of the Michael Chekhov Technique with the Great Lakes Michael Chekhov Consortium. He has performed Off Broadway, regionally and internationally. His New York City acting highlights include Henry V, Richard II, Hamlet (American Globe Theatre), Romeo and Juliet (The Wild Project), Tape (Duel Theatre Company), Doubt, Everyman, Murder in the Cathedral (Black Orchid Theatre) and Your War’try Grave (La MaMa). His regional acting credits include Julius Caesar (Great Lakes Theatre Festival, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival), The Sweepers (Ensemble Theatre at The Cleveland Playhouse), Six Degrees of Separation (Charenton Theatre), Boy Gets Girl (Beck Center for the Arts). He also performed and co-created 8x10, a solo show about solitary confinement in the U.S. prison system, and played Odysseus in The Odyssey at the Hydrama Theatre on the island of Hydra in Greece.

As a director and fight director, Savage has worked for both educational and professional institutions around NYC. In addition to acting and directing, James has also taught at various schools in and around NYC including The New School for Drama, the New York Film Academy and NYU Steinhardt.

ONU musical theatre and theatre majors portray various Roman characters featuring nine seniors including Garrett Fant (Hilliard) as Caesar, Hannah Enciso (Romeo, MI) as Antony, Caleb Jingo (Westerville) as Brutus, Juliana Tate Kelly (Cleveland) as Cassius, Camryn Lamontagne (Austin, TX) as Decius, Dani Miller (Charlotsville, VA) as Trebonious, Gabrielle Sophia Mouch (Cincinnati) as Flavius, Elena Rosales (Frisco, TX) as Metellus and Reagan Curry (Pittsburgh, PA) as Calpurnia. Junior cast members include Nicholas Beiser (Cleveland) as Casca, Grant Bell (Brunswick) as Marullus, Molly Beth Blanchard (Baton Rouge, LS) as Portia, Morgan Francis (Austin, TX) as Cinna and Selah Schertz as Lucius. Three sophomores, Ross Fogle (Eaton), Andrew Holdsworth (Parma Heights) and CJ Miller (Findlay) appear as Lepidus, Octavius and Claudius, respectively.
The guest artists who helped bring this contemporary staging to life include fight and intimacy director Alexis Black, who is Assistant Professor of Movement and Stage Combat at Michigan State University; scenic designer Kenneth M. Ellis, owner of DogAndPonyShow Enterprises LLC; lighting designer Dustin Druckman from ITA Audio Video Solutions; and graffiti artist Nathaniel Runkle “Runk” as the scenic artist.

ONU staff members on the production team consist of Brian Sage as producer; costume shop manager and resident costume designer Ameera Ansari; Kathleen E. DeVault, sound designer and production manager; Brian Phillips, technical director; and Elynmarie Kazle, stage manager mentor. ONU students on the production staff include seniors Ren Cassidy (Van Wert) as assistant lighting designer, scenic painters Rachel Boyle (Morrow) Abby DeLong (Wapakoneta), props master Levi Dubach (Ashtabula), assistant stage manager Ben Schneider (Wapakoneta), and Kyra Hanes (Dublin) as costume crew; junior  Isabelle Rowe (Cincinnati) is the dramaturg; and sophomores Jared Hoshaw (Northville, MI) and Tarrah BeVier (Johnstown) serve as stage manager and assistant stage manager, respectively.

The 2022-2023 Season for the Freed Center for the Performing Arts continues with the following events:

Oct. 22-23: Swing!, the Original Broadway song and dance show
Oct. 30: BAND-O-RAMA featuring the ONU Marching Band
Nov. 17-19: The ONU Holiday Spectacular at The Freed Center for the Performing Arts
Dec. 2-4: The ONU Holiday Spectacular at Veterans Memorial Civic and Convention Center (Lima)
Dec. 8: ONU Chamber Winds Concert
Feb. 11-12: Impulse, ONU Spring Dance Concert
March 2-5: Anne of Green Gables, The Musical
March 25: ONU Symphonic Band Concert
April 1-2: International Play Festival: The Middle East
April 27-30: The Addams Family, A Musical Comedy
May 7: Spring Band Festival at ONU
May 12: ONU Chamber Orchestra Concert

For more information about the Freed Center and its 2022-2023 Season, visit www.FreedCenter.com or call the Box Office at 419-772-1900 to receive a season brochure.