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Highland Park Bowl Presents Shakespeare's ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA This Month

The free production continues Monroe County Parks and Rochester Community Players: Shakespeare Program’s annual “Shakespeare in the Park” tradition.

A raw, visceral look at the tragic romance between the most famous queen in history and the soldier who lost everything to be with her, Shakespeare's ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA is set to be staged at Rochester's Highland Park Bowl July 16-29, 2022. Performances begin at 8 p.m., and are free and suggested for audiences aged 13 and older, due to scenes of violence and intimacy.

Performing in the title roles are Erin Kate Howard as Cleopatra and Philip Detrick as Antony. The cast includes 18 local and regional actors and a production team of local professional artists. Director Carl Del Buono also helmed a production of Shakespeare's MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING to sold-out audiences at the Multi-use Community Cultural Center (MuCCC) last October, and is a well-known regional actor, singer and performer. According to Del Buono, where MUCH ADO was big on comedy and laughs, ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA has a much different tone.

"Cleopatra and Mark Antony were the biggest celebrities of their era," Del Buono said. "Everyone was obsessed with them. You see it in the play as well; a scene doesn't go by without someone commenting on their lives or actions. They lived their private lives completely in the public eye, and we're trying to show that in this production."

In doing his research on this rarely performed piece, Del Buono discovered an interesting bit of trivia about the last time ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA was performed in Rochester.

"The last known production that I could find was a touring company that came through Rochester in 1934, starring none other than the legendary actress Tallulah Bankhead as Cleopatra!"

ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA is co-sponsored by the Monroe County Parks Department and the Rochester Community Players with support from the New York State Council on the Arts. Founded in 1923, Rochester Community Players is the oldest community theater in New York State. The RCP Shakespeare Program was created in 1994, and currently stages two plays per year - a free outdoor show at Highland Bowl in the summer, and an indoor show at MuCCC.

Audiences are encouraged to bring folding chairs, blankets, and insect repellant to the outdoor performances. Refreshments will be sold, with proceeds going to the Rochester Community Players.

From This Author - Grace Cutler

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