Public Theater's ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA Begins Previews 2/18

Public Theater's ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA Begins Previews 2/18The Public Theater will begin performances for ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA on Tuesday, February 18 in The Public's Anspacher Theater, the culmination of the international collaboration between The Public Theater, the Royal Shakespeare Company, and Miami's GableStage. ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA is directed and edited by Tarell Alvin McCraney with Joaquina Kalukango as Cleopatra and Jonathan Cake as Mark Antony. This rarely-seen Shakespearean tragedy will run through Sunday, March 23, with an official press opening on Wednesday, March 5. Single tickets can be purchased by calling (212) 967-7555, www.publictheater.org, or in person at the Taub Box Office at The Public Theater at 425 Lafayette Street.

This unique company has been cast in both the U.S. and the U.K., and comprises five actors from each country to make up the cast of Shakespeare's historical play of love and politics. The actors will be appearing with the permission of Actors' Equity Association pursuant to an exchange program between American Equity and UK Equity, incorporating the Variety Artistes' Foundation.

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

The U.K. cast features Jonathan Cake (Mark Antony); Samuel Collings (Octavius); Ash Hunter (Pompey, Alexas, Scarus); Chukwudi Iwuji (Enobarbus); and Sarah Niles (Charmian, Menas) and they are appearing with the permission of Actors' Equity Association. The producers gratefully acknowledge Actors' Equity Association for its assistance with this production.

The creative team is also a mix of U.K. and U.S. professionals with the production being designed by RSC Associate Designer Tom Piper. The lighting design is by Stephen Strawbridge, the music composed by Michael Thurber, and the movement director is Gelan Lambert, all from the U.S.

TARELL ALVIN McCRANEY (Director, Editor). His play The Brothers Size first 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. For the Royal Shakespeare Company, he was the RSC/CAPITAL CENTRE Warwick International Playwright in Residence in 2009-2011 and is now an artistic associate. Born and raised in Miami, Florida, 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, which received its world premiere in 2013 in Chicago. McCraney was the recipient of London's Evening Standard Award for Most Promising Playwright in 2008, the inaugural New York Times Outstanding Playwright Award in 2009 and the 2009 Steinberg Award.

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