Featured Artist: Timothy Mooney

This Featured Artist is Presenting:

Breakneck Julius Caesar

Can you describe how you go about making your work?

I generally get an idea about a play, or some speeches, that are hard to understand, and some impulse in me wants to explain that play/those speeches, so that every average Joe can understand something that seems impossible to “get.” But beyond just “getting” the difficult material, I want them to be thrilled and delighted with the sensationalism and the delight that once made this work exciting and fun 400 years ago. — And so I proceed to deconstruct Shakespeare, “Hamlet,” or in this case, “Julius Caesar,” reassemble and memorize for a one-man event that will put this all together in the context of my own snarky point of view.

What drives you as an artist/company?

Well, back in the 90s, I used to work a corporate job. I want to never go back to that, so…

How did you begin making work?

I started this phase of my life by writing new variations of the plays of Moliere in rhymed iambic pentameter. Having written about a dozen of these, I found the need to make sense of Moliere and his life for “the people.” And so, I wrote my first one-man show, “Moliere than Thou”… which led to, ultimately seven more one-man plays, seven of which remain in my “repertory.”

One thing our readers might not know about you?

I’ve been on tour now for fifteen years, spending more than 200 days a year on the road. I generally go through Florida twice a year, performing at high schools and colleges. (I’ve performed in 46 of the 48 contiguous states!)

One thing our readers might not know about your work?

I am highly influenced by the works of Isaac Asimov. Asimov wrote one of the most helpful works about Shakespeare that I’ve come across (Asimov’s Guide to Shakespeare), and his perspective on Shakespeare and history have helped me pick apart not only the language of Shakespeare, but the historical/political/mythical references running through the plays.

What do you most like about the work you will present at this year’s festival?

In addition to Mark Antony’s “Friends, Romans, Countrymen,” which always rocks the house, I get to throw a new twist in to the end of this play, that most people don’t see coming… Whether it changes the nature of Shakespearean scholarship on “Julius Caesar”… waits to be seen.

Why should audience members choose you?

If nothing else, I fill up the hour with LOADS of content. I barely take any more than a single second’s pause, because I’ve got a lot to get across and very little time to do it. If nothing else, I promise that they will walk away feeling like they’ve got a significant grasp on one of Shakespeare’s most challenging plays.

The Artist in a Nutshell

  • Artist/Company Name: Timothy Mooney Rep
  • Show: Breackneck Julius Caesar
  • From: His Car (originally from Chicago, IL)
  • Website: TimMooneyRep.com
"Theatre is mostly what I do to meet people."

Have you ever performed in a fringe Festival before?

Describe your most memorable fringe Festival experience.

Over the course of my 5-performance run at the Orlando Fringe Festival (2013), I performed five entirely different one-man plays (each of which probably averages around 9,000 words)!

Have you ever been to Florida or Tampa before?

What are you most looking forward to about your visit?

I love the fact that when the weather in the north is still teasing me with giving me one last blast of cold air, and forcing me to bundle up when I’m dying to run around with my shirt off… I can come to Florida and… boom: it’s in the 80s!

What do you hope to get from presenting on the Tampa Fringe?

This will be the “first Fringe” for “Breakneck Julius Caesar!” It’s still in the developing phases and the audience and the press tells me just what the value is of the work that I’m presenting. I get to know the rhythms, the give-and-take of the piece, and start to grow into it in a really dynamic way.

Why did you choose the Tampa Fringe?

After years of establishing myself at the Orlando Fringe, I wanted to make more friends on the west coast!

Describe the context of your work and where you come from?

I come from the Chicago suburbs, but, practically, I come from a life of theatre work, as an actor, director, literary manager, free-lancer, voice-over artist and artistic director. In short, I did whatever needed to be done to get the show on. And then, I became a touring artist which has occupied me for fifteen years. Just this year, my organization went not-for-profit, and we have established the “Timothy Mooney Repertory Theatre” mission, celebrating our great theatrical, literary and rhetorical thinkers with performances that inspire, inform, enlighten, educate and entertain.”

Where is home and what is it like?

Home is kind of the inside of my car. It’s pretty much full to the brim, with costumes, props and swag for seven plays, along with office equipment and a suitcase.

Anything else you would like to say?

I’m sometimes caught up in a flurry as I gear up to do my show, but please do stop by to visit, to grab a drink, or to hang out. Theatre is mostly what I do to meet people.