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Cincinnati Shakespeare Company to Close Out 2015-16 Season with JULIUS CAESAR & ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA

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Cincinnati Shakespeare Company concludes its 2015-2016 season with a two-part theatrical event, pairing Shakespeare's Roman plays "Julius Caesar" (April 8- May 7) and "Antony and Cleopatra" (May 13- June 4) back to back. Artistic Associate Sara Clark directs "Julius Caesar" and Producing Artistic Director Brian Isaac Phillips directs "Antony and Cleopatra". These productions feature Cincinnati Shakespeare's Resident Ensemble members including Jim Hopkins as Julius Caesar, Nick Rose as Marc Antony, and introducing Chantal Jean-Pierre as Cleopatra. Sponsors for "Julius Caesar" are Messer, Thompson Hine, and Matson Money. Sponsors for "Antony and Cleopatra" are Barnes Dennig, Taft, and GBBN.

Julius Caesar is brilliant general, a cunning politician, and the most beloved leader Rome has ever known; but when his ambition threatens to topple the Republic, a small conspiracy of Roman patriots take matters into their own hands. When they assassinate the beloved Caesar on the senate floor, their actions plunge the Republic into a civil war that will test friendships, try loyalties, and determine the fate of an empire. Presented in full Roman regalia and flair, Shakespeare's breathless political thriller "Julius Caesar" returns to the CSC stage as the first installment of a special two part theatrical event with "Antony and Cleopatra".

Part two of CSC's special theatrical event, "Antony and Cleopatra" is the rarely-staged epic sequel to "Julius Caesar". The victors of Rome's civil war have divided the Empire amongst themselves, and Marc Antony has traveled to exotic Egypt to take up rule over his corner of the globe. There he encounters Egypt's mysterious monarch, the irresistibly entrancing Cleopatra. Their impassioned love affair ultimately pits their two countries against each other and will change the face of the ancient world forever.

This is a rare opportunity for Cincinnati audiences to experience these 2 productions. Although Shakespeare wrote his Roman history plays roughly eight years apart ("Julius Caesar" in 1599-1600 and "Antony and Cleopatra" in 1606-1607), they represent a record of continuous history, with many of the same characters appearing in both. The Cincinnati Shakespeare Company Resident Ensemble makes it possible to present these plays using the same ensemble members in both productions! Rick Pender of CityBeat says "because Cincy Shakes employs a resident ensemble of actors who live and work in Greater Cincinnati, it can feature the same performers in both productions, providing a kind of connective tissue that will add greater depth for audiences that get to see the two closely juxtaposed shows."

Both of Cincinnati Shakespeare Company's productions of "Julius Caesar" and "Antony and Cleopatra" were selected to be a part of Shakespeare in American Communities, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. Cincinnati Shakespeare Company is one of 40 professional theater companies selected to participate in bringing the finest productions of Shakespeare to middle- and high-school students in communities across the United States. This is the thirteen year of this national program, the largest tour of Shakespeare in American history. This additional funding has allowed Cincinnati Shakespeare Company to welcome 100s more students at no or low cost to experience these productions during the school day or at evening performances alongside of extra educational activities made available by CSC.

"Antony and Cleopatra" welcomes the Cincinnati debut of Chantal Jean-Pierre in the title role of Cleopatra. She previously appeared as Cleopatra in Orlando Shakespeare Theater's production of "Antony and Cleopatra" to which the Orlando Sentential called her a "magnificent, mercurial Cleopatra of actress Chantal Jean-Pierre [...] makes a grand entrance... she's as all-encompassing as her desert empire - a girl at heart, with emotions that change on a dime, and also a woman so strong and serene that she embraces death with a smile. It's a charismatic performance." She has also performed with Folger Shakespeare (Goneril in "King Lear"), Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey (Hostess/Alice in "Henry V") , American Globe Theater (Gertrude in "Hamlet"), New York Classical Theatre (Olivia in "Twelfth Night"), Wertheim Performing Arts Center (Paulina in "The Winter's Tale") and many more. Her TV credits include "We Are New York", "One Life to Live", and "All My Children." Learn more at www.chantaljean-pierre.com.

Performances of "Julius Caesar" are scheduled from April 8- May 7, 2016 on Thursday, Friday & Saturday evenings at 7:30pm and Sundays at 2pm as well as on Saturday May 7 at 2pm. There is no performance on Sunday April 10. Preview performances are on Wednesday April 6 and Thursday April 7 at 7:30pm and tickets are $25.

Performances of "Antony and Cleopatra" are scheduled from May 13- June 4, 2016 on Thursday, Friday & Saturday evenings at 7:30pm and Sundays at 2pm as well as on Saturday June 4 at 2pm. There is no performance on Sunday May 15. Preview performances are on Wednesday May 11 and Thursday May 12 at 7:30pm and tickets are $25.

Discounts are available to patrons purchasing both shows. By using code "EPIC", patrons will receive $10 off per pair of tickets when they purchase a ticket to "Julius Caesar" and "Antony and Cleopatra" at the same time.

The theater is located at 719 Race Street, downtown Cincinnati, two blocks west of the Aronoff Center. Single ticket prices range from $22-$35 on Thursdays and Sundays and from $26-$39 on Fridays and Saturdays. Previews are $25. If available, $14 student rush tickets may be purchased 30 minutes before a show with a valid student ID. This production is a part of this season's subscription package. Visa, Discover, MasterCard, and American Express are accepted. Ticketing fees may apply. Discounts are available for students, seniors and groups as well as AAA members. To purchase tickets or for more information, call the CSC Box Office at 513.381.BARD (2273) ext. 1, or go online at www.cincyshakes.com.

Photo Credit: Mikki Schaffner Photography


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