In times of political unrest, must a man die for the greater good of the nation? The assassinations of Rome's great ruler of the Republic and the revolutionary leader Malcolm X share the stage when New York's acclaimed Acting Company pairs Shakespeare's Julius Caesar with X: Or, Betty Shabazz v. the Nation, a compelling new play by lauded playwright Marcus Gardley (The House That Will Not Stand, The Gospel of Lovingkindness, Every Tongue Confess, On the Levee). Presented in repertory, each featuring the same outstanding cast, these two gripping dramas examine two charismatic leaders who rise only to fall victim to rivalry, resentment, and retribution.
X: Or, Betty Shabazz v. the Nation is about the assassination of Malcolm X — both the story people think they know and illuminating details that have seldom been shared. Gardley adapts the framework of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar for his play to deepen our understanding of one of America's most complex, compelling historical figures and explores the tumultuous landscape of ideology and activism in the 1960s. Through the story of Julius Caesar, a rising political star torn down by his most trusted allies, audiences witness the art of persuasion, the ugliness of backroom politics, and the historical patterns we can't stop repeating. Tackling essential questions about the balance of ambition, personal loyalty, and love of country, Shakespeare's timeless political masterpiece has never been more relevant.