Behind the Scenes with Worcester City Manager Ed Augustus and Julius Caesar

Vice President of Communications for The Hanover Theatre and Conservatory Lisa Condit spoke with Worcester City Manager Ed Augustus about William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar coming to the Worcester Common this August. Read on for highlights from the interview, or listen to the full interview below. Then tune in to Talk of the Commonwealth with Hank Stolz on WCRN 830AM Fridays at 9 AM and Saturdays at 1 PM for more behind-the-scenes interviews.

Lisa: I want to thank the City Manager and everyone in his office so much for partnering with us and really emphasizing the importance of the arts in our community and making it possible for us to do this along with some of our some of our wonderful corporate sponsors who have already stepped forward. Welcome City Manager!

Ed Augustus: Well, thank you, Lisa. It’s exciting to be here and part of this great announcement. I think all of us here at City Hall share the excitement of bringing some of the arts and culture back to the folks here in Worcester and beyond, who are really starved for those kinds of connections and those kinds of opportunities to enjoy and be enriched by the arts. We’re really excited about this.

Black and white faded image of Worcester City Hall's clock tower. The text on the image reads, The Hanover Theatre Repertory presents in partnership with the City of Worcester Shakespeare's Julius Caesar.

Lisa: Isn’t it the truth! I know that you’ve been working with Troy Siebels and Olivia Scanlon on different safety protocols. Olivia brings such a creative energy that’s fresh and diverse. The idea that we’re going to be able to partner in order to offer performances free to the public is only possible because of the support. This is an expensive thing to do, right?

Ed Augustus: It certainly is, and you know making sure whatever protocols will be in place come this August are followed, first and foremost is keeping folks safe. You’re right, Olivia is a great talent.

Our Gift to the Community

Lisa: One of the fun things about this performance too is there’s audience participation that is encouraged.

Shakespeare wasn’t meant to be stuffy; Shakespeare was meant to really be bold and be fun.

I’m excited for THT Rep’s production to bring that to a place in downtown Worcester. This is something for us to look forward to.

Ed Augustus: Yeah, it really is. We’ve done a lot of work over many years improving the common, improving downtown, really trying to make downtown a destination. We have, the last few years, been trying to do more and more programming on the common and really utilize that that public space for arts, entertainment and community building. I think this is a perfect kick off to the post Covid world and getting back to the new normal.

Lisa: Absolutely, and as Troy would tell everybody, this production is really our gift to the community and a way of saying thank you for all of the extraordinary support that we’ve been shown throughout the pandemic.

Truly, we are grateful for the opportunity to work with you and everyone in the city to safely, that is the key thing to emphasize, safely bring live theater back to downtown.

Ed Augustus: Absolutely. We’re looking forward to the partnership. We love The Hanover, we love all of our cultural institutions, and we want to do everything we can to continue to support them as they support us as a community.