The director behind the controversial production of “Julius Caesar” in New York City has received death threats in his Brooklyn home, his wife told police.
The New York Post reported Oskar and Laurie Eustis received messages from a caller on their land line, such as “I want to grab you by the p---y. Your husband wants Trump to die. I want him to die.”
Eustis, the artistic director of the Public Theater, was directing the production of the classic for Shakespeare in the Park. It has received backlash for depicting the Roman emperor as a Donald Trump look-alike in a business suit who gets stabbed to death on stage.
His wife reportedly told police the mysterious caller has left several messages, using their daughter’s name and the family’s address.
“Julius Caesar,” which tells the story of a powerful, popular Roman leader who is assassinated by senators who fear he is becoming a tyrant, is set in ancient Rome, but many productions costumed the characters in modern dress to give it a present-day connection. The play, which ran until June 18, was disrupted by protesters several times.
“Our production of ‘Julius Caesar’ in no way advocated violence towards anyone,” the Public Theater announced in a statement. “Shakespeare’s play, and our production, made the opposite point: those who attempt to defend democracy by undemocratic means pay a terrible price and destroy the very thing they are fighting to save. For over 400 years, Shakespeare’s play has told this story and we were proud to have told it again in Central Park.”
They added, “The Public Theater stands completely behind our production of ‘Julius Caesar.’ We understand and respect the right of our sponsors and supporters to allocate their fundraising in line with their own values. We recognize that our interpretations of the play provoked heated discussion; audiences, sponsors, and supports have expressed varying viewpoints and opinions. Such discussion is exactly the goal of our civically-engaged theater; this discourse is the basis of a healthy democracy.”