Tina Benko, left, portrays Melania Trump in the role of Caesar’s wife, Calpurnia, and Gregg Henry, center left, portrays President Trump in the role of Julius Caesar during a dress rehearsal of The Public Theater’s Free Shakespeare in the Park production of “Julius Caesar” in New York. (Joan Marcus/The Public Theater via AP)
In the 1990s, during the Internet’s adolescence, someone at Shakespeare & Company, a theater in Lenox, Mass., had the forethought to snap up the Shakespeare.org domain name. It was only about 30 bucks, a sum no one would miss if the whole Internet thing suddenly went bust.
That decision reaped Internet gold over the next two decades. People who searched for “Shakespeare” on their browser for the playwright’s name got an eyeful of the latest offerings from the now-40-year-old company.
Now, company officials believe, that savvy marketing decision is also responsible for the death threats Shakespeare & Company has been getting this month in a politics-laden case of mistaken identity.
A production of Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” 150 miles away, in New York’s Central Park, has stirred up controversy for its depiction of the title character. Hint: The Caesar character wears a blond wig, a suit and a solid red tie extending far below his waist.
He’s also brutally assassinated onstage, a bloody stabbing scene involving a presidential impersonator that has been criticized for being in poor taste.
The New York company that oversees Shakespeare in the Park has gotten its share of protesters and death threats. Some sponsors have pulled their support and the National Endowment for the Arts also distanced itself from the play. Protesters disrupted the show on Friday night, and a small but steady stream of picketers regularly gather outside the theater. But some of that animosity has been misdirected at Shakespeare & Company in Massachusetts, which finds itself assailed…