Shakespeare’s Antony & Cleopatra is history, tragedy, and romance all rolled into one very gorgeous and complex tale. It is a play which has defied description for centuries, with a title character so beguiling she intrigues us to this very day. From the extravagance of ancient Egypt to the ordered brutality of ancient Rome, the torrid love shared by Marc Antony and Egypt’s last queen proves that all politics are personal – very personal.
Director Emily Mann has crafted a new point of view for this powerful work, one that streamlines the political aspects in favor of a lean, energetic story focused sharply on the love between two leaders at a major crossroads in time. Presenting a stark and glittering scenic design in the intimate setting of the Berlind Theatre and featuring a cast of 12 (including a live percussionist), McCarter Theatre Center’s Antony & Cleopatra represents an intimate look at two lovers whose desires shaped the destiny of the world.
In the words of Emily Mann: “Indeed, if Romeo and Juliet is the Bard’s take on the perils and passions of first love, Antony & Cleopatra is his ode to the smoldering and complex nature of last love. It is the work of a master playwright at the top of his game.”
Featured as the star-crossed Antony and Cleopatra will be Esau Pritchett and Nicole Ari Parker, respectively. Mr. Pritchett, whose New York credits include Lincoln Center’s 2010 production of A Free Man of Color, returns to McCarter following his acclaimed performance as Troy Maxon in 2014’s co-production (with Long Wharf Theatre) of August Wilson’s Fences, directed by Phylicia Rashad.
Ms. Parker, described by the Huffington Post as an actress “stunning enough to stop traffic in Times Square”, reunites with director Emily Mann having previously worked together on Mann’s 2012 Broadway adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire. Ms. Parker’s most recent project, TNT’s new crime drama Murder in the First, premiered in June of 2014 to critical acclaim.
Regarding working with Ms. Mann again, Ms. Parker states: “I am so excited to be working with Emily Mann again and on such an incredible piece as Shakespeare's Antony & Cleopatra. Emily is the kind of director actors dream about. Her vision, passion and love of the entire process of theatre makes magic happen.”
In addition to Ms. Parker and Mr. Pritchett, the cast is comprised of Keith Eric Chappelle (Menas), Zainab Jah (Charmian), Mairin Lee (Iras/Octavia), Warner Miller (Eros), Everett Quinton (Mardian/Clown), Tobias Segal (Caesar), and Michael Siberry (Enobarbus). The production will also feature live music from percussionist Mark Katsaounis.
The creative/design team includes scenic design by Daniel Ostling (Tony Award nom. - Clybourne Park, McCarter’s White Snake, A Delicate Balance); Lighting Design by Edward Pierce (Broadway production of Emily Mann’sA Streetcar Named Desire, collaboration on Tony Award-winning lighting design for Disney’s Aida); Costume Design by Paul Tazewell (McCarter’s The Convert and Fetch Clay, Make Man); Sound Design and Composition by Mark Bennett (Broadway credits include Macbeth with Ethan Hawke, The Coast of Utopia pts. 1 and 2, 15 Drama Desk noms. and 3 wins); and Movement Direction by Peter Pucci (Big Apple Circus, Special Drama Desk Award for The Orphans’ Cycle).
Single tickets for Antony and Cleopatra start as low as $20 and will go on sale at 10a.m. on Monday, July 28th online at mccarter.org, by phone at (609) 258-2787, or in person at the McCarter Theatre Ticket Office, located at 91 University Place in Princeton. Best seats are available now by subscription. Call the box office or visit the website for more information on subscription packages.
Antony & Cleopatra will be performed on the Berlind Stage. The production will run 2 hours, 15 minutes, including one fifteen-minute intermission.
Friday September 5 8:00 p.m.
Saturday September 6 8:00 p.m.
Sunday September 7 2:00 p.m.
Tuesday September 9 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday September 10 7:30 p.m.
Thursday September 11 7:30 p.m.
Friday September 12 8:00 p.m. (Opening Night)
Saturday September 13 3:00 p.m.
Saturday September 13 8:00 p.m.
Sunday September 14 2:00 p.m. (Dialogue on Drama – post show)
Tuesday September 16 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday September 17 7:30 p.m. (Post-Show Discussion)
Thursday September 18 7:30 p.m. (Pride Night)
Friday September 19 8:00 p.m.
Saturday September 20 3:00 p.m.
Saturday September 20 8:00 p.m.
Sunday September 21 2:00 p.m. (Post-Show Discussion)
Sunday September 21 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday September 24 7:30 p.m.
Thursday September 25 7:30 p.m.
Friday September 26 8:00 p.m.
Saturday September 27 3:00 p.m. (Open Captioned Performance)
Saturday September 27 8:00 p.m.
Sunday September 28 2:00 p.m.
Sunday September 28 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday September 30 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday October 1 7:30 p.m. (Audio Described Performance)
Thursday October 2 7:30 p.m.
Friday October 3 8:00 p.m.
Saturday October 4 3:00 p.m. (ASL Interpreted Performance)
Saturday October 4 8:00 p.m.
Sunday October 5 2:00 p.m.
Construction Updates: Construction continues around McCarter for Princeton University’s Arts & Transit project and the expansion of the Lewis Center for the Arts. This will have an impact on parking, traffic, and transit in and around McCarter through early Fall 2014. Stay informed by visiting mccarter.org/VisitorInfo to get the latest construction updates.
McCarter Theatre is located at 91 University Place in Princeton, NJ. For more information, www.mccarter.org.