As Caesar reaches ambitiously for more power, Brutus, Cassius and a band of conspirators plot to stop him – by bloody means. In this radical adaptation of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, Kaitlyn Riordan refocuses the classic political thriller on the women of Rome. Portia, Brutus’ wife, tries to keep the peace in Rome, all while protecting her best friend Calpurnia, her new son and the democracy she believes in. This play deals with themes of fertility, loyalty and the price we pay for our beliefs.
‘Portia’s Julius Caesar’ is a Canadian adaptation of the Shakespeare tragedy. Kaitlyn Riordan has woven together text from 17 Shakespeare plays, four sonnets, a poem and her own writing to bring forward the women traditionally in the background of this story.
'Portia's Julius Caesar' was performed on July 16th, 2023 in Stratford-upon Avon as a part of the Royal Shakespeare Festival's summer programming at The Dell.
Production Photos-The Dell
Kaitlyn Riordan, Playwright
Kaitlyn is a theatre maker based in Toronto, Canada. She studied acting in her hometown of Montreal at Dawson College and at LAMDA in the UK. She is an actor and a playwright, and was part of the leadership team at Shakespeare in the Ruff from 2012-2021, including Artistic Director from 2017-2021. As an actor, she has worked across Canada with Punctuate! Theatre, The Stratford Festival, Tarragon, The Segal Centre and many in between. She has performed Linda Griffith’s one-person show; Maggie & Pierre, at The Thousand Islands Playhouse, with Timeshare (Toronto), and at The Grand (London, ON). With Shakespeare in the Ruff, she acted in The Winter’s Tale, Romeo & Juliet, Macbeth: Walking Shadows, Cymbeline, and Two Gents. She also performs in film/tv. As a playwright, her 'feminized’ Shakespearean play; Portia’s Julius Caesar, premiered with Shakespeare in the Ruff (2018) and was named one of the top shows of the year by The Toronto Star. 1939, which she co-wrote with Jani Lauzon, premiered at The Stratford Festival in 2022. Plays in development include Gertrude's Hamlet, I Sit Content – a story of Emily Carr, and The Nude Nun. www.kaitlynriordan.com
Kaya Bucholc (she/her) as Portia
Kaya Bucholc is an actor and writer, originally from Toronto, Canada. Kaya moved to the UK to complete her master's degree in classical acting at LAMDA, graduating in 2018. Since then, she has continued to live and work in London, appearing in The House of Yes at The Hope Theatre (2019), which won a London Pub Theatre's Standing Ovation Award in 2020, and Will & Co.'s Bard in the Yard, a touring one person show about William Shakespeare(2020, 2021, 2022, 2023). Kaya has also recently begun to embrace creating her own work and new writing, leading to several scripts for both stage and screen, and a recent public reading of her new play Mary's Daughters (2023).
Ellen Trevaskiss (she/her) as Calpurnia
Ellen Trevaskiss is a London based actor, East 15 Graduate and co-founder of queer, womxn led company By the Balls Theatre. Her most recent credits include Megan in Blackbright Theatre's feminist horror The Hunger and Staffy in By the Balls’ debut Goodbye '89 which achieved critical acclaim at VAULT Festival. Following Portia's Julius Caesar, Ellen will be appearing in the stage debut of Rebekah King's Moderation (Winner of CUADC Playwriting Award and Cambridge Creatives Playwriting Award) at Edinburgh Fringe 2023. She is represented by the wonderful Birdston Talent Management.
Catherine Mieses (she/her) as Marcus Brutus & Esther
Catherine is a Dominican-American actor based in London. She recently completed her MFA in Acting at East 15 Acting School and did a residency with Shakespeare's Globe Higher Education in 2022. You may have recently seen her as the lead in the newly commissioned play 'Let Me Change Your Mind' at Hoxton Hall or as Cymbeline in an all-female presenting cast of 'Cymbeline' at the Bridewell Theatre.
Rachael Reshma (she/her) as Julius Caesar &Vera
Rachael trained at East 15. Credits include: Theatre: Mary's Daughters (Wonderville Theatre), Maryland (Queen's Theatre Hornchurch), The Seagull (Tower Theatre), Scandalous (Leicester Square Theatre), One P*d off Renter (Battersea Arts Centre) Film: The Three Musketeers Audio: The Unicorn Academy 1-4, Aphrodite and the Duke
Oihane Rodríguez (she/her) as Servilia, Casca, Cleopatra & Soothsayer
Oihane Rodríguez (she/her) is a Spanish actress, writer and singer. She trained in Madrid with Juan Carlos Martín and Edduardo Viera, in London at East 15 Drama School (MA Acting International) and Guildhall School of Music and Drama (PAC), in Moscow (GITIS Institute) and in France (Fontainebleau School of Acting). She has trained as a singer with sopranos Pilar Tejero and María José Santos and in voice technique with Peter T. Harrison. She plays the violin.
Her theatre credits include The Red Within (Drayton Arms Theatre), The House of Bernarda Alba (Cervantes Theatre London), Madrid 1808. Nosotros. Ellos (Teatro Calderón), Stories from Santa Marta (Bhavan Centre), 3 Winters (Corbett Theatre) and How to build a fence (Drayton Arms Theatre). Her short film credits include Dependiente X, The Red Within and Wiped Out.
Her writing background includes her creative writing training in Fuentetaja School in Madrid and she has written various plays, short format drama and short films. Her play The Red Within premiered in London in 2023 with her theatre company Hecate Theatre.
Maria Lisberg-Jonasson (she/her) as Mark Antony & Jurtha
Maria Lisberg-Jonasson is a Danish actor, trained from the BA Acting (International) course at East 15 Acting School. Maria is also a multi-instrumentalist with a degree in music from University of Copenhagen. Credits include: Theatre: Internal Iniquity (The Drayton Arms Theatre); The Amish Project (The Corbett Theatre); Nordisk Gravøl (Teatre Grob); Kong Artur (The Royal National Theatre, Denmark). Film: Spellbound; The Promotion; Staring Girl. TV: Borgen (DR Drama).
Rosemary Lippard (she/her) as Caius Cassius & Cecilia
Rosemary Lippard is a Welsh actor-musician currently based in London. Just as skilled with a broadsword as she is with a mandolin, she received her training at the Manchester School of Theatre receiving a BA with hons. Rosemary is a seasoned Shakespearean performer having performed for 2 seasons with the Cambridge Shakespeare Festival as Maria in “Twelfth Night”, Portia in “Julius Caesar” Lady Anne in “Richard III”, and Prince Arviragus in “Cymbeline”. She has worked as an actor in theatre, film, and voice overs (for both radio and audio drama) with recent performing credits including Sebastian in “What You Will” (Little Lion Theatre Company), Jane Bennet/Narrator in “Pride and Prejudice” (Sun and Moon Theatre), The Lady in “About a Girl” (Ragged Scratch Podcast), and Peggy in the short film “The Good Wife” (dir. Toby Harris).
Kay Brattan (she/her), Director
Kay is a director, dramaturg, producer, and actor from Toronto, Canada. Kay’s theatre training comes from the prestigious Theatre Performance programme at Humber College in Toronto where she studied as an actor. Kay is a graduate of East 15’s Directing Programme where she was awarded an MA with distinction in theatre directing. She has also studied with GITIS International in Moscow, Russia, in partnership with East 15 Acting School. Directing credits include Lysistrata (how.dare.collective. Toronto Fringe 2017, Best Ensemble Nominee, My Entertainment World Awards 2017), Wake Up and Smell the Coffee (LowDown Theatre Company), The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (Alumnae Theatre Company, New Ideas Festival 2018), CARMILLA (Montreal and Toronto Fringe, 2018), Mustard (Little Lion Theatre Company, The Drayton Arms Pub Theatre, 2020) and What You Will, or Twelfth Night (Little Lion Theatre Company, Tea House Theatre, 2020). Kay has also directed staged readings of Beautiful Vida by Ivan Cankar (Little Lion Theatre Company in association with Crane Creations Theatre Company, Etcetera Theatre, 2021), and Spycraft by Kirk Dunn and Claire Ross Dunn (Little Lion Theatre Company, The Drayton Arms Theatre, 2022). As an assistant director, she has been a part of The Things That Were There (Valerie Christiansen, Theatre Festival Pending at The Hen and Chickens Theatre, 2019), King Lear (Jeremy Mortimer, East 15 Acting School, 2019), Brazen Head (Matt Harrison, East 15 Acting School, 2019), The AB Project: The Return (David Glass, David Glass Ensemble, 2019), and as an associate director on Accidentally Muslim (AMP Productions, Edinburgh Fringe 2019). (kaybrattan.com)
Runa Røstad Augdal (she/her), Associate Director
Runa Røstad Augdal is a director, writer and actor and has recently achieved her MFA in Theatre Directing from East15 Acting School. Originally from Trondheim, Norway, Runa received her bachelor’s degree in drama and theatre from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology where she received an internship with The Giraffe Theatre Company who advocate and focus on teens and adults with disabilities through inclusive theatre practices and performances. Most recently she was assistant director of Bard in the Yard, which is now performed all over the UK to great public and critical acclaim (The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Independent). Before being accepted in the East 15 MFA Theatre Directing program, Runa established a theatre company (Dragvollrevyen) with fellow colleagues and directed their first show Kaste stein I glasshus which was nominated to participate in the semi-finals of the Norwegian Championship of Satire Theatre (NM I Revy).
Alice Greening (she/her), Producer
Alice Greening is a freelance producer, theatre technician and stage manager. Alice joined Little Lion Theatre Company in October 2017 as the producer for Tuesdays & Sundays at Theatre N16 and was appointed Executive Director in January 2018. Since then, she has produced all the productions and rehearsed readings for Little Lion Theatre Company, alongside a semi-staged concert performance of Flora Leo’s The Lightning Road at the Actors’ Church and Celine Snippe and Jack Godfrey’s Free Solo at The Hen and Chickens Theatre, Tristan Bates Theatre, and The Drayton Arms Theatre. Alice has worked in various backstage roles for the past ten years, and has a strong background in both music and theatre. She is currently studying for a PhD in Drama at Goldsmiths, University of London, where she is focusing on the roles of LGBTQ women in musical theatre.