The combination of live performance, a state-of-the-art digital theater, and a story line about one of the most documented days in Roman history will make for a captivating, one-of-a-kind multimedia production this week inside the Ho Science Center’s Visualization Lab.
At 7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, a group of students and faculty members from the classics department will present “Murder on the Ides,” a re-enactment of the assassination of Julius Caesar.
During the 60-minute show, images of ancient Rome will be projected on a 33-foot dome screen while special sound and lighting effects fill the visualization lab, taking audience members back in time to experience the Ides of March 44 BCE.
The Ides of March is best known as the date that Julius Caesar was assassinated, a story famously dramatized in William Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar.
“The nature of the production allows the classics to be accessible to people from all walks of life,” said Robert Garland, Roy D. and Margaret B. Wooster Professor of the classics and one of the event organizers. “They will be blown away by the experience.”
Garland also notes that “the production is profoundly interdisciplinary, involving close collaboration between humanities and sciences.”
Garland has been working with Joe Eakin, senior visualization lab designer and technician, to create content specifically for the show.
One of the most exciting aspects of the event, noted Eakin, is that it will feature the comet that appeared in the sky above Rome four months after Caesar’s death, thought to be his soul ascending to the sky.
“This is a perfect example of how the visualization lab can serve as a powerful teaching tool for the Colgate and central New York communities,” said Eakin. “It is a stage for interactive learning.”