Shakespeare Festival St. Louis Announces ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA for the Main Stage

Shakespeare Festival St. Louis Announces ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA for the Main Stage

Shakespeare Festival St. Louis announced today that Antony and Cleopatra will be the 2015 Season Main Stage production in Forest Park. With a plot focused on tumultuous relationships between rulers and lovers, the production is scheduled for May 22 - June 14, 2015 marking the Festival's 15th season producing free, live outdoor theatre.

First performed at the Globe Theatre around 1607, Antony and Cleopatra tells the epic, intriguing, and enchanting tale of a Roman general caught under the spell of history's most stunning and powerful queen. Passionate conflicts are at the heart of the play and many consider the role of Cleopatra to be one of Shakespeare's most complicated characters.

"We want to celebrate this important milestone, our 15th Anniversary Season, with a big show," said Bruce Longworth, Interim Artistic Director, "and Antony and Cleopatra certainly fits the bill. These two characters were titans in their time. As their decisions went, so went the fate of the entire Roman Empire. It is a tale of larger-than-life personalities locked in a relationship that shook the world."

New York-based freelance director and St. Louis native Mike Donahue will direct. Donahue comes to the Festival with a variety of experience in directing new plays, classics, musicals, and opera, and most recently 2014 Pulitzer Prize winning Playwright, Annie Baker's adaption of Uncle Vanya with Campbell Scott and Kathleen McElfresh. Donahue completed a Fulbright scholarship in Berlin, the Drama League Fall Directing Fellowship, and received the Inaugural Opera America Director-Designer Showcase Award. He was artistic director for two seasons at the Yale Summer Cabaret and is a graduate of Harvard University, receiving the Louis Sudler Prize for Artistic Excellence. Donahue holds a MFA from the Yale School of Drama. He is a graduate of John Burroughs High School.

"I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to bring this story to life in such a great, iconic setting in St. Louis," said Donahue. "Working outdoors in Forest Park presents great opportunity and challenge; returning to St. Louis to take this on is really an honor."

Donahue will be joined by a St. Louis-based creative team, including Dottie Marshall Englis (Costumes), Scott Neale (Scenic Designer), John Wylie (Lighting Designer), Rusty Wandall (Sound Designer), Paul Dennhardt (Fight Choreographer), and Suzanne Mills (Voice & Text), all of whom worked on previous productions, including last season's repertory performances of Henry IV and Henry V. Auditions will be held in both St. Louis and New York.

In the past 14 years, Shakespeare Festival St. Louis has attracted more than 640,000 people to its annual free performances In the Park. The organization has reached 270,000 students In the Schools through its educational programming and, in 2010, launched SHAKE 38, a marathon participatory presentation of Shakespeare's entire 38-play canon community wide, and in 2012, shut down its first street, Cherokee, to present a community-based play In the Streets. With support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Regional Arts Commission, SHAKE38.com launched on April 23, 2014, Shakespeare's 450th birthday. For more information, please visit www.sfstl.com or call 314-531-98000.

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