The text is William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, but in this Easy Street Players production the sexes of the principal characters (except Brutus) have been switched. In theory, the goal is to divorce gender from the traditionally masculine pursuit of power, as director Zach Angel suggests in a program note. In practice, it feels like a meaningless stunt. This wouldn’t matter so much if the acting were better, but these unfocused performances lack the right combination of force and subtlety to convey the ruthless ambition, conflicted loyalties, and slippery rhetoric that make the characters compelling. –Zac Thompson a Through 9/22: Wed-Sat 8 PM, Athenaeum Theatre, second-floor studio, 2936 N. Southport, 312-902-1500, $15.