Antony and Cleopatra in the US
"Taking this equal parts tragedy equal parts history and setting it in the budding racial politics of the New World, a history ripe with pirating and battles over loyalty, we heighten the forbidden and passionate love affair between the conqueror, Antony, and colonized, Cleopatra." Tarell McCraney
Tarell Alvin McCraney's radical edit of Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra will premiere at the RSC's Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon in November 2013, before arriving in the US to play at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts in Miami in January 2014 and The Public Theater's Anspacher Theater in Manhattan, beginning in late January 2014.
As a former RSC writer in residence in 2010, Tarell worked with the Company on several projects throughout the year, including adapting and co-directing the RSC's 70 minute production of Hamlet for the Young People's Shakespeare tour, alongside director Bijan Sheibani, and writing a new play for the acting ensemble, American Trade, which performed at Hampstead Theatre in Spring 2011.
During his residency, he was asked to create a radical new edit of Antony and Cleopatra. Tarell responded by stripping down the text, reordering the scene structure and relocating the play to Saint-Domingue in the late 1700s, on the eve of the Haitian Revolution against the French.
Casting will take place in London, New York and Miami for the show and will include a mix of actors from the UK and the US (the actors will be appearing with the permission of Actors' Equity Association pursuant to an exchange program between American Equity and UK Equity).
- RSC's Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon: 7 to 30 November 2013
- GableStage at Gusman Center for the Performing Arts, Miami: student previews from 9 January, performances from 11 to 26 January 2014
- The Public Theater's Anspacher Theater in New York: late January 2014