Vanessa Redgrave directs and stars in Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra now playing at the Joseph Papp Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival. Redgrave and David Harewood are reprising the title roles they created in 1996 at Houston's Alley Theatre. The show opened in NY March 13 and was recently extended past its March 30 closing date to April 5. Production spokesperson Bill Coyle says the show can't extend any further because of Redgrave's other commitments.
Antony and Cleopatra marks Redgrave's New York directing debut and her third depiction of Cleopatra. London's Moving Theatre, which Vanessa founded with her brother, Corin Redgrave, is hosting this production. The actress appeared Off-Broadway in the role of Vita Sackville-West, opposite Eileen Atkins (as Virginia Woolf), in the successful Vita and Virginia.
Harewood, a British actor trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, will be making his New York debut. Having performed on stage and radio in England, Harewood has been seen here in the film Mad Dogs and Englishmen
Also appearing in the production are American actors Teagle F. Bougere, Don Campbell, George Causil, Avery Glymph, Fanni Green, Nancy Hower, Peter Francis James (Venus), Jason Ma, Boris McGiver, Julio Monge, Alex Allen Morris, Carrie Preston (The Tempest on Broadway), Ben Shenkman, Steven Skybell, Sam Tsoutsouvas (The Man Who Shot Lincoln) and Jennifer Wiltsie.
Sets are by John Arnone, costumes by Anne Hould-Ward, lighting by Rui Rita, sound by J.R. Conklin. Christopher Drobny will serve as music director for Marc Bennett's background scoring. Though the text is set in ancient Egypt, the production is updated to 1606, when the play was written, in order to depict a time when free-thinking of the Renaissance was being replaced by conservative dogma.
Antony and Cleopatra will be the 36th production in the Shakespeare marathon, begun in 1987 by NYSF founder Joseph Papp. With the production of Henry VIII next summer in Central Park's Delacorte Theatre, the Festival will have produced all of William Shakespeare's plays. Their most recent Bard production was Karin Coonrod's staging of Henry VI
Performances of Antony And Cleopatra are held at The Public's Anspacher Theatre, through April 5. Tickets are available through the Public Theater box office (425 Lafayette Street) or by calling Telecharge at (212) 239-6200.