‘Julius Caesar,’ ‘Cymbeline’ Take Center Stage in Houston Shakespeare Fest

Summer is the season for baseball and the beach, but in Houston, it’s also the time for the Bard.

For more than 30 years, the Houston Shakespeare Festival (HSF) has thrilled audiences of all ages with dynamic performances at Miller Outdoor Theatre in Hermann Park. Presented by the University of Houston and the city of Houston, this year’s event presents “Julius Caesar” and “Cymbeline” Aug. 1 – 10.

Directed by the festival’s founder Sidney Berger, “Julius Caesar” transplants the classic tale from ancient Rome to a contemporary setting. The play is focused on the betrayal of the titular dictator by his aide Brutus. With its themes of ambition and power, Berger said it’s a perfect fit for the festival considering the current state of the world.

“There is such unmitigated savagery and many tyrannical regimes that are devastating to people around the world, so I think this is an appropriate time to stage this play,” said Berger, the John and Rebecca Moores Professor in the UH School of Theatre & Dance.

While “Julius Caesar” has long been a favorite with theatergoers, “Cymbeline” is a rarely staged Shakespeare production. The play centers on the heroine Imogen, daughter of King Cymbeline. When she is falsely accused of being unfaithful to husband Posthumus, she flees her kingdom, changes her identity and discovers a few family secrets.

Performances begin at 8:30 p.m. Admission is free, but tickets are required for covered seating and are available at the Miller Outdoor Theatre box office between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. and one hour prior to each performance. For theater information, call 713-533-3276.

Since its inception in 1975, HSF has entertained nearly half a million theatergoers with free performances at Miller Outdoor Theatre. For details on HSF, visit www.houstonfestivalscompany.com.

WHAT: Houston Shakespeare Festival: “Julius Caesar,” “Cymbeline”
WHEN: Performances begin at 8:30 p.m.
“Julius Caesar”: Aug. 1, 3, 5, 7, 9
“Cymbeline”: Aug. 2, 6, 8, 10
WHERE: Miller Outdoor Theatre in Hermann Park
WHO: The University of Houston’s School of Theatre & Dance, the city of Houston