Andre De Shields stars in Cato, by Joseph Addison, directed by Jim Simpson. The play
premiered on April 14, 1713 and went on to become one of the most popular English plays of that period.
This 5-act play tells the story of Cato the younger (95-46 B.C.), a Roman Statesman who took sides with Pompey in an unsuccessful civil war against Julius Caesar. The play takes place in the city of Utica, where Cato and a small Roman Senate stand ready to defend the last vestige of the Roman Republic againts Caesar.
The play was a favorite of George Washington who had it performed for his troops at Valley Forge despite a Congressional Resolution that plays were harmful to Republican virtue. Washington included lines from the play in his private correspondence and even in his farewell address.