Controversy Over New 'Shakespeare in the Park' Production That Depicts 'Trump' Being Stabbed
The staging has been seen as a direct jab at the Trump presidency.
The audience reaction has been mixed to New York City’s latest "Shakespeare in the Park" production shows a character that resembles President Trump being brutally stabbed to death.
William Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar," which opened May 23 and will be performed throughout this month in Central Park, is causing a stir among audiences due to its apparent inspiration from the Trump administration.
The play's climax comes with Caesar's stabbing death at the hands of his best friend, Brutus, and the performance does not hold back on the violence, as shown in the video obtained by Inside Edition.
The assassination scene has usually been done in the past as Caesar is repeatedly stabbed by the members of the Roman senate. In the new version, his white dress shirt is soaked in blood after being attacked by Brutus.
"I didn't like that they made this person who looks like Trump get assassinated," one viewer said after Tuesday night's performance. "It's not a good message."
Another attendee was not as critical, saying, "I don't think it's disrespectful for the president to be murdered on stage. It's not really the president. It's theater and everyone knows that."
“I don’t think it was appropriate," said a third attendee.
In the audience, video obtained by Inside Edition hears plenty of chuckling during the scene.
Director Oskar Eustis told Playbill: "I decided to open our summer season with Julius Caesar as of November 9, 2016,” the day after Election Day.
“Julius Caesar can be read as a warning parable to those who try to fight for democracy by undemocratic means," Eustis said in a statement on the play’s website. "To fight the tyrant does not mean imitating him."
Footage from Tuesday evening's performance shows Caesar wearing a suit and tie. His wife, Calpurnia, bears a striking resemblance to First Lady Melania Trump.
There are other similarities to Trump, such as his dynamic hand gestures, as well as his constant tweeting, which he does from a bathtub.
The latest "Shakespeare in the Park" series comes on the heels of image of Kathy Griffin holding the severed head made to look like Trump.
There's been no word from the White House so far regarding the controversial production.
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