Full casting for Antony and Cleopatra

6 September 2013

TRANSATLANTIC CASTING ANNOUNCED FOR THE ROYAL SHAKESPEARE COMPANY THE PUBLIC THEATER IN NEW YORK, AND MIAMI'S GABLESTAGE CO-PRODUCTION OF SHAKESPEARE'S ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA.

Casting is announced for the co-production of Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra, produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company, The Public Theater in New York and Miami's GableStage. The show will premiere in Stratford- upon-Avon in November, before travelling to the US for engagements in Miami and New York early next year. It is the latest RSC project presented in collaboration with The Ohio State University (OSU).

This unique company has been cast in both the US and the UK and comprises five actors from each country to make up the cast of Shakespeare's historical play of love and politics.

The UK cast is headed by Jonathan Cake playing Mark Antony, who last performed with the RSC in 1993 and has since appeared in numerous roles in theatre and on television both in the UK and the US. His recent Film and TV work includes Brideshead Revisited, Desperate Housewives, The Killing and Em. His recent theatre work includes the title role in the Shakespeare Globe production of Coriolanus, Jason in Deborah Warner's Medea in the West End and on Broadway, and Benedick in TFANA's Much Ado About Nothing in New York.

Chukwudi Iwuji returns to the RSC after last appearing with the company in Michael Boyd's award-winning 2007/2008 cycle of Shakespeare's History plays in which he played Henry VI. His recent theatre includes playing Buckingham in Sam Mendes' Richard III as part of the Old Vic's Bridge Project in both London and New York. He plays Enobarbus in this production.

The cast also includes: Samuel Collings (Octavius), Ash Hunter (Pompey/Alexas/Scarus), Sarah Niles (Charmian/Menas).

*The US cast features Charise Castro-Smith (Octavia, Iras); Joaquina Kalukango (Cleopatra); Ian Lassiter (Agrippa, Thyreus); Chivas Michael (Mardian, Eros, Soothsayer); and Henry Stram (Lepidus, Proculeius).

*These actors are appearing with the permission of UK Equity, incorporating the Variety Artistes' Federation, pursuant to an exchange programme between American Equity and UK Equity

The creative team is also a mix of UK and US professionals with the production being designed by RSC Associate Designer Tom Piper, who most recently designed Pride and Prejudice (Regents Park) this summer, and Michael Boyd's production of Boris Godunov amongst many others. The lighting designer is Stephen Strawbridge, the music is composed by Michael Thurber, and the movement director is Gelan Lambert – all from the US.

Rehearsals begin in the UK in September, directed by Tarell Alvin McCraney, who has radically edited the play and set it in the late 1700s against the backdrop of Saint-Domingue, on the eve of the Haitian Revolution against the French, bringing to light vivid historical parallels with the story of Antony and Cleopatra.

The show will premiere at the RSC's Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon in November 2013, before arriving in the US in January 2014 to play at The Colony Theater in Miami and then The Public Theater in Manhattan in February 2014.

The RSC in America is presented in collaboration with THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY.

Performance dates:

RSC's Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon: 7 - 30 November 2013. Press performance Wednesday 13 November, 7pm.

GableStage at The Colony Theater, Miami Beach - student previews from 9 January, performances from 11 January – 9 February 2014

The Public Theater in New York: 18 February- 23 March 2014

 

For further information:

About the RSC:
Philippa Harland, Head of Press +44 207 845 0512 philippa.harland@rsc.org.uk

About The Public Theater:
Candi Adams, Director of Communications +1 212-539-8680 cadams@publictheater.org

About GableStage:
Joseph Adler, Producing Artistic Director +1 305 446 1116 jadler@gablestage.org

About The Ohio State University:
Victoria Ellwood, Communications Director, College of Arts and Sciences on +1 614-292-6299 or ellwood.1@osu.edu

 
RSC Booking Information:
Telephone: +44 (0)844 800 1110

The £5 ticket scheme for 16 – 25 year olds gives access to £5 tickets for all RSC productions whether we are performing in Stratford-upon-Avon, London or on tour. Tickets can be booked in advance on the phone, online or in person with some available for sale on the day of the performance. The scheme is supported by Project Partner, BP.

 

NOTES TO EDITORS

About The Public Theater at Astor Place
Under the leadership of Artistic Director Oskar Eustis and Executive Director Patrick Willingham, The Public Theater is the only theater in New York that produces Shakespeare, the classics, musicals, contemporary and experimental pieces in equal measure. The Public continues the work of its visionary founder, Joe Papp, by acting as an advocate for the theater as an essential cultural force, and leading and framing dialogue on some of the most important issues of our day. Creating theater for one of the largest and most diverse audience bases in New York City for nearly 60 years, today the Company engages audiences in a variety of venues-including its landmark downtown home at Astor Place, which houses five theaters and Joe's Pub; the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, home to its beloved, free Shakespeare in the Park; and the Mobile Unit, which tours Shakespearean productions for underserved audiences throughout New York City's five boroughs. The Public's wide range of programming includes free Shakespeare in the Park, the bedrock of the Company's dedication to making theater accessible to all, new and experimental stagings at The Public at Astor Place, and a range of artist and audience development initiatives including its Public Forum series, which brings together theater artists and professionals from a variety of disciplines for discussions that shed light on social issues explored in Public productions. The Public Theater is located on property owned by the City of New York and receives annual support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; and in October 2012 the landmark building downtown at Astor Place was revitalized to physically manifest the Company's core mission of sparking new dialogues and increasing accessibility for artists and audiences, by dramatically opening up the building to the street and community, and transforming the lobby into a public piazza for artists, students, and audiences. Key elements of the revitalization included infrastructure updates to the 158-year old building, as well as construction of new exterior entry stair and glass canopy; installation of ramps for improved accessibility; an expanded and refurbished lobby; the addition of a mezzanine level with a new lounge, The Library at The Public, designed by the Rockwell Group. The LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust provides leadership support for The Public Theater's year-round activities. www.publictheater.org

About GableStage

GableStage is one of the leading theater companies in the Southeastern United States. The company produces a six-play mainstage season that has earned its reputation for presenting adventurous and challenging work by contemporary playwrights worldwide. Located in the historic Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables since 1999, GableStage is led by JOSEPH ADLER, Producing Artistic Director, now in his fifteenth season. Under his leadership, GableStage has been the recipient of 50 Carbonell Awards (South Florida's annual theater awards) and 175 Carbonell Nominations, as well as winning the Carbonell Award for Best Play 7 times and Best Musical Carbonell Award twice.

GableStage's touring productions of Shakespeare's plays have been seen by more than 1 million Miami-Dade County Public School students since the company was founded as Florida Shakespeare Theatre in 1979.

GableStage is a non-for-profit organization committed to maintaining a leading voice for theater in the community and proactively providing opportunities for South Florida's most gifted actors, directors, designers and technicians to develop their craft at the highest level.

About the Royal Shakespeare Company
One of the best known theatre companies in the world, the RSC connects people with Shakespeare and aims to produce bold, ambitious work. As well as Shakespeare, its repertoire includes classical plays and new work by contemporary writers. It is an ensemble company, with everyone from directors, writers and actors to production, technical and administrative staff playing their part in creating distinctive theatre.

The RSC's home is in Stratford-upon-Avon and in 2010 the Company reopened the Royal Shakespeare and Swan Theatres after a £112.8m transformation to bring actors and audiences closer together. The RSC also plays regularly in London, Newcastle upon Tyne and on tour across the UK and the world.

The RSC has a deeply held commitment to the development of theatre artists. It also runs a major education programme, working with schools and teachers to inspire a life-long love of Shakespeare in young people, and devises events and exhibitions for everyone to explore and participate in its work.

The RSC celebrated its 50th birthday in 2011 and, in 2012, produced the biggest celebration of Shakespeare ever staged, the World Shakespeare Festival, as part of London 2012 Festival for the Cultural Olympiad.

Made in Stratford-upon-Avon - Seen around the world
Everyone at the Royal Shakespeare Company, from actors to technicians, milliners to musicians, plays a part in creating the world you see on stage. Our work begins its life at our Stratford workshops and theatres and we share it with audiences across the world through our touring, residencies and online activity. So, wherever you experience the RSC, you experience work that is made in Shakespeare's home town.

Shakespeare has been performed and celebrated in Stratford for centuries and the RSC has trained generations of the very best theatre makers since the Company was founded in 1961. We pioneer contemporary approaches to Shakespeare's plays, as well as staging the work of those who inspired him and the work of today's playwrights. www.rsc.org.uk

 

About The Ohio State University

Founded in 1870, The Ohio State University is a world-class public research university and the leading comprehensive teaching and research institution in the state of Ohio. With more than 63,000 students, a major medical center, 14 colleges, 80 centers, and 175 majors, the university offers its students tremendous breadth and depth of opportunity in the liberal arts, the sciences, and the professions.

The Ohio State University and Royal Shakespeare Company have significantly broadened their international relationship, supporting Ohio State's aspiration to be a destination for the innovative teaching, research, and performance of Shakespeare. Royal Shakespeare Company productions, including Antony & Cleopatra in New York and Miami and last spring's Julius Caesar in New York and Columbus, stem from an international presenting partnership between the two world-class organizations. Under the agreement, Ohio State helps bring more of the RSC's work to American audiences.

Ohio State also supported the RSC's unprecedented six-week New York City residency in summer 2011, presented by Lincoln Center Festival and Park Avenue Armory, and supported Young People's Shakespeare (YPS) performances of Hamlet and King Lear in New York and Columbus.

Ohio State and the RSC collaborate on an educational partnership as well, providing K-12 teacher professional development programs inspired by the RSC's Stand Up for Shakespeare manifesto, which calls for students to: Do Shakespeare on their Feet, See it Live, and Start it Early. At the heart of the professional development program are active teaching approaches drawn from the RSC's rehearsal room practice.

Tarell Alvin McCraney Biography:
Tarell Alvin McCraney was the RSC/ CAPITAL CENTRE Warwick International Playwright in Residence in 2009-2011 and is now an artistic associate for the RSC. In addition to the RSC, Tarell also has a strong history with The Public Theater in New York, which premiered his trilogy The Brother/Sister Plays, which includes In the Red and Brown Water, The Brother's Size, and Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet. Born and raised in Miami, FL Tarell is an ensemble member of the Steppenwolf Theater Company and in residence at New Dramatist Center in New York. For the RSC he co-edited/directed the Young People's Shakespeare production of Hamlet, and wrote a new full-length play for the RSC's acting ensemble, American Trade. His other plays include Choir Boy, Wig Out, and Head of Passes. Tarell was the recipient of London's Evening Standard Award for Most Promising Playwright 2008, the inaugural New York Times Outstanding Playwright Award 2009 and the 2009 Steinberg Award.

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