Tarell Alvin McCraney's Adaptation of Antony and Cleopatra Will Premiere at RSC and Public Theater

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12 Nov 2012

Tarell Alvin McCraney
Tarell Alvin McCraney

The Royal Shakespeare Company, the Public Theater and Miami's GableStage will unite to present the world premiere of Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra, edited and adapted by acclaimed Brother/Sister Plays author Tarell Alvin McCraney.

McCraney, who is an artistic associate at London's RSC, has been shaping and workshopping this "radical edit" of Antony and Cleopatra during the past year. It will premiere at the RSC's Stratford-upon-Avon home in November 2013, move to GableStage in early January 2014 and play The Public in New York City in late January 2014.

Now set in the New World, the Public states that McCraney's approach includes "stripping down the text, reordering the scene structure and relocating the play." It will feature a mix of American and English actors.

Antony and Cleopatra, "will be set 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."

"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," McCraney said in a statement.



McCraney's The Brothers Size premiered at The Public's Under the Radar Festival in 2006 and was followed by a Public Lab production in 2007. His complete trilogy, The Brother/Sister Plays (comprised of: In the Red and Brown Water, The Brothers Size and Marcus; Or the Secret of Sweet), was produced at The Public in 2009. His plays also include Choir Boy, Wig Out, and Head of Passes, which will receive its world premiere in 2013 in Chicago.