Forget the togas and sandals – a gray suit will do nicely.

“Julius Caesar,” which kicks off the 36th season for Actors’ Theatre of Columbus, will be set in current times, including the costumes.

“It will look very modern,” said Philip J. Hickman, artistic director of Actors’ Theatre.

The dialogue, however, will be classic Shakespeare.

“This show is particularly intense because it’s hard to tell who’s the hero and villain,” Hickman said.

The play, part of this year’s theme of “Power & Privilege,” opens at 8 p.m. May 25 and will run Thursdays through Sundays through June 18 in the Schiller Park amphitheater in German Village.

Actors’ Theatre’s tent dinner will be held at 6 p.m. May 26, also in Schiller.

Tickets are $75 each and can be purchased at theactors

theatre.org. The dinner, which seats 180, is the biggest fundraiser for Actors’ Theatre.

The evening begins at 6 p.m. with a silent auction. The Italian-themed dinner, to be catered by the Columbus Culinary Institute at Bradford School, starts at 7 p.m., followed by the play at 8 p.m.

“It’s a nice formal dinner and has good food but has an informal feel,” said Carol Mullinax, president of the theater company’s board of directors.

Students from the Columbus Gifted Academy will be on hand, performing scenes from the play prior to its official performance.

Brutus, the lead character in “Julius Caesar,” will be played by a woman (Jennifer Feather Youngblood).

Brutus joins in a conspiracy to kill Caesar (Victor Little) but competing factions and ambitions ultimately force Brutus into battle.

It’s a classic Shakespearean tragedy, focusing on personal flaws, Hickman said.

“Brutus is torn between being personally loyal to Caesar or protecting Rome,” he said.

Hickman said he made a conscious effort to cast more female roles because eight of nine Shakespeare characters are men.

“One of our goals this year was equal representation on stage, and we’ve achieved that goal,” he said.

gseman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekGary