Steamy ANTONY & CLEOPATRA to Open Folger Theatre's 2017-18 Season
Directed by Robert Richmond (last season's acclaimed Timon of Athens, Othello, Henry V), the production will be presented in-the-round, offering greater intimacy to all of the intense action taking place in Rome and in Egypt, and will feature Shirine Babb (Julius Caesar, the upcoming 2018 Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway) as the powerful queen Cleopatra and Cody Nickell (The Taming of the Shrew, Arcadia) as Rome's noble soldier Mark Antony.
Antony and Cleopatra is on stage from October 10 through November 19, 2017. Tickets are available online at www.folger.edu/theatre or by calling the Folger Box Office at
Julius Caesar is no more, and Mark Antony, at the peak of his political power, is ensconced in Egypt at the side of the irresistible Cleopatra. Torn between his military duty toward Rome and his passionate love affair with Cleopatra, Antony finds himself engaged in both war and romance. Shakespeare's classic encompasses politics and power, love and jealousy, alliance and misalliance.
Alongside Shirine Babb and Cody Nickell, the cast of Antony and Cleoptra features Dylan Paul as Antony's rival Octavius Caesar; Nigel Gore as Antony's close friend and confidant, Enorbarbus; Simoné Elizabeth Bart as Cleopatra's dutiful lady-in-waiting, Charmian; Chris Genebach as Octavius' chief admiral of the Roman navy, Agrippa; and Robbie Gay as the third triumvir, Lepidus. The production also includes John Floyd (Mardian), Nicole King (Iras, Octavia), and Anthony Michael Martinez (Soothsayer, Eros).
"Within the epic scope of Antony and Cleopatra are hidden layers of intimacies and vulnerabilities," says director Robert Richmond. "In this production, we will make the private, public-and examine what went on behind closed doors of the world's most powerful people. This 'up close and personal' staging of the redesigned Folger Theatre will gain us an intimate understanding of the titular characters, revealing their passions and pain. We hope that this production will provoke questions about how the course of history can be shaped by human drama and the nature of leadership and sacrifice."
Robert Richmond will be reunited with the designers who helped to create the innovative worlds for Timon of Athens, Richard III, Othello, and Henry V, including four-time Helen Hayes Award winner Tony Cisek (scenic design), Mariah Hale (costume design), and Andrew F. Griffin (lighting design). The creative team will also include Adam Stamper (music composition and sound design).
"Folger Theatre's 2017/18 season gets started with a larger-than-life, epic story to spark the imagination-'past the size of dreaming,' as Cleopatra says of Antony," Janet Alexander Griffin, Folger Theatre's Artistic Producer, says. "The play offers us an exquisitely vivid portrait of one of history's most storied female leaders-mercurial, mythically beautiful, ruler of Egypt-and Mark Antony. Perhaps no other woman has captured imaginations more powerfully, both then and now. For the production, we will convert the Folger's Elizabethan Theatre to the round and create an intimate arena in which to witness Antony's war with Rome, and his war with Egypt."
Watch the stars talk about the production in the video below!
Antony and Cleopatra is on stage at Folger Theatre from October 10 through November 19, 2017. Tickets are $35-$79. Lower-priced previews and discounts for students, seniors, military, educators, and groups of ten or more are available and may be purchased through the Folger Theatre Box Office at (202) 544-7077 or online at www.folger.edu/theatre.
The Pay-What-You-Can performance is on Tuesday, October 10, 7:30pm. Tickets will be available to the public at 5pm. One ticket per person.
Folger Theatre's Stage Director Talk will take place on Thursday, October 12 at 6:30pm. Learn about the creative process, staging, and vision of Antony and Cleopatra with director Robert Richmond. $20, includes light fare reception.
College Night will be held on Friday, October 13 at 8pm. Tickets are $15, with a valid student ID. Call the box office at (202) 544-7077 or visit in person to purchase tickets.
A Free Folger Friday: On Set with Tony Cisek will take place on Friday, October 20 at 6pm. The four-time Helen Hayes Award-winner talks about his reuniting with director Robert Richmond and transforming the intimate Folger Elizabethan theater to present Antony and Cleopatra in-the-round. Free; reservations requested.
A Pre-Performance Talk with Folger Director Michael Witmore explores Antony and Cleopatra within an overview of Shakespeare's work on Wednesday, October 25 at 6:30pm. Tickets are $20, with light fare included.
Folger Theatre's Brews & Banter Pre-Show Talk will be held on Thursday, October 26 at 6:30pm. Before the show, quench your thirst and join this lively small group conversation with Antony and Cleopatra cast members Nigel Gore (Enobarbus) and Simoné Elizabeth Bart (Charmian). $20, with beer provided by local brewery Bluejacket and light fare included.
Audience members are encouraged to stay and take part in our Post-Show Discussion with the cast of Antony and Cleopatra on Thursday, November 2. This interactive discussion, led by Folger's Resident Dramaturg Michele Osherow, will follow the 7:30pm performance.
Prior to the 8pm performance of Antony and Cleopatra, join the Folger for Ladies Night: Some Excellent Fortune on Friday, November 3 at 6pm. Sample a variety of fortune-telling activities for an evening of magic, mystery, and merriment. Sip on Folger Theatre's signature cocktail and try your hand at fortune's wheel-are you fortune's fool or a master of your own fate? $10, in the Folger Paster Reading Room.
The Open-Captioned performance is Sunday, November 12 at 2pm.
Please check www.folger.edu for a complete listing, including Free Folger Friday pre-show events.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS:
Shirine Babb (Cleopatra) - Folger Theatre: Julius Caesar; Folger Consort: Measure+Dido. Regional: Hartford Stage: The Tempest; Long Wharf Theatre: Macbeth; Palm Beach Theatre: A Raisin in the Sun; The Old Globe: 2010 and 2011 Summer Shakespeare Festival Season; American Shakespeare Center: Twelfth Night, Measure for Measure, A Christmas Carol; Roxy Regional: Antony and Cleopatra. Broadway: Lincoln Center Theater: Macbeth. Off-Broadway: The New Theatre at 45th Street: Around the World in 80 Days; The Women's Project: Aliens With Extraordinary Skills; Ensemble Studio Theatre: Trickle; Pulse Ensemble Theatre: A Midsummer Night's Dream; 29th St. Rep Theater: A Role Once Played (AUDELCO nomination). UK: Arcola and Stratford Theatre: Widows. Television: WE are NY, All My Children, Madam Secretary.
Simoné Elizabeth Bart (Charmian) - Regional: Wolfbane: Romeo and Juliet; Waterfront Playhouse: Good People; Park Playhouse: The Producers, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival: Much Ado About Nothing. Off-Broadway: Fuerza Bruta Wayra, Naked Holidays, Off-Off Broadway: Much Ado About Nothing, Donkey, A Chorus Line; NYC Fringe Festival: Bohemian Valentine.
John Floyd (Mardian) - Folger Theatre: Timon of Athens. Regional: Williamstown Theatre Festival: Unknown Soldier; Trustus Theatre: Marcus; or The Secret of Sweet, Peter and the Starcatcher, Marie Antoinette; Theatre SC: The Three Musketeers, Hamlet, The Trojan Women, The Women of Lockerbie, Ajax in Iraq, Yellowman, King Lear, The Importance of Being Earnest.
Robbie Gay (Lepidus) - Folger Theatre: Julius Caesar, The Gaming Table; Shakespeare Theatre Company: Othello; Shakespeare Theatre/ACA: The Duchess of Malfi, The Winter's Tale; REP Stage: H2O; Round House Theatre: Double Indemnity, Pride and Prejudice; Adventure Theatre MTC: A Little House Christmas, Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse. Regional: Lincoln Center Theater/Psittacus Productions: A Tale Told by an Idiot; Theatre Raleigh: The 39 Steps, Fox on the Fairway, Barefoot in the Park, Sylvia; Farmers Alley Theatre: The 39 Steps; Cape Fear Regional Theatre: Rumors, A View from the Bridge, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Peter Pan; Jailbreak Theatre Company: The Mystery of Irma Vep; Palace Theatre: Greater Tuna; Temple Theatre: Hamlet; Old Creamery Theatre: The Nerd; Schoolhouse Theater: Funny Money; California Theatre Center: The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), Most Valuable Player; The Lost Colony: The Lost Colony.
Chris Genebach (Agrippa) - Folger Theatre: Twelfth Night, Henry V, Othello, Cyrano, Orestes: A Tragic Romp; Olney Theatre Center: My Fair Lady, Carousel, Awake & Sing!; Mosaic Theatre Company: A Human Being Died That Night, Ulysses on Bottles; Shakespeare Theatre Company: Romeo and Juliet, Henry IV: Parts 1 and 2, Measure for Measure, The Two Gentleman of Verona, Julius Caesar (FFA), Cymbeline, King Lear, Titus Andronicus; Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company: Mr. Burns, A Post Electric Play; Studio Theatre: The Big Meal, Superior Donuts, Shining City. Regional: Everyman Theatre: Death of a Salesman, A Streetcar Named Desire, An Inspector Calls; Goodman Theatre: King Lear; Chicago Shakespeare Theater: Short Shakespeare! Macbeth, Rose Rage: Henry VI, Parts 1, 2 and 3, King John, Short Shakespeare! A Midsummer Night's Dream, Short Shakespeare! Romeo and Juliet. Off-Broadway: The Duke: Rose Rage: Henry VI, Parts 1, 2 and 3, MTC: The Other Side. Broadway: Manhattan Theatre Club: Shining City.
Nigel Gore (Enobarbus) - Regional: Colorado Shakespeare Festival: Richard III (Westword Denver; Best Actor) Macbeth, A Midsummer Night's Dream; Public Theatre, Boston: Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Eliot Norton Award Outstanding Actor), Travesties, Arcadia, etc; Oldcastle: Lion in Winter, Ride Down Mt. Morgan; Orlando Shakespeare Theater: Julius Caesar; Shakespeare & Company: The Tempest, Hamlet, All's Well That Ends Well, Twelfth Night, Mother of the Maid, Women of Will (Shanghai, Prague, The Hague, Mexico), etc. Lyric, Boston: Nicholas Nickleby (Eliot Norton Award Outstanding Actor, nomination). New York: TFANA: A Doll's House, The Father; Bedlam: Sense and Sensibility, The Seagull, Women of Will. International: Prague Shakespeare Festival: Julius Caesar, Hamlet, Women of Will. UK: Colchester Repertory: Coriolanus. Film: The Last Knights. Television: Brotherhood Seasons 2/3.
Nicole King (Iras, Octavia) - Shakespeare Theatre Company: Macbeth. Regional: Hanger Theatre Company: Shakespeare's R and J; The Children's Theatre Company: Buccaneers!, Much Ado About Nothing, Bert and Ernie, Goodnight; Rutgers Theatre Company (Rutgers University): A Midsummer Night's Dream, Gabrielle, Balm in Gilead. International: Shakespeare's Globe (London); A Midsummer Night's Dream. Education: Rutger's University and Shakespeare's Globe Conservatory.
Anthony Michael Martinez (Soothsayer, Eros) - Shakespeare Theatre Company/ACA: The Maid's Tragedy, Love's Labour's Lost; Regional: The Shakespeare Theatre of NJ: The Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare LIVE! Romeo & Juliet, The Comedy of Errors; Triad Stage: All's Well That Ends Well; Theatreworks CO: Cymbeline; Off-Broadway: Classic Stage Company: Romeo & Juliet; The Vineyard Theatre: I'll Be Damned; International: Oxford Shakespeare Company: As You Like It. Training: BA Florida State University; MFA in Classical Acting: Shakespeare Theatre Company's Academy for Classical Acting at the George Washington University.
Cody Nickell (Mark Antony) - Folger Theatre: Mary Stuart, The Taming of the Shrew (Helen Hayes nomination), Arcadia (Helen Hayes nomination), The School for Scandal, Macbeth; Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company: Stupid F***ing Bird (World Premiere, Helen Hayes nomination), Clybourne Park (Helen Hayes nomination), In The Next Room (or The Vibrator Play); Shakespeare Theatre Company: The School for Lies, Romeo and Juliet. Regional: Gulfshore Playhouse: Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol, Art, All My Sons, The Game's Afoot, Blithe Spirit; Portland Center Stage: How To Disappear Completely and Never Be Found (US Premiere), The Pillowman, Outrage, The Merchant of Venice; Two River Theater Company: Macbeth, The Underpants; Shakespeare Santa Cruz: The Playboy of the Western World, Much Ado About Nothing, King Lear, As You Like It, The Taming of the Shrew, The Tamer Tamed; Arden Theatre Company: The Whipping Man, Crime and Punishment; Wilma Theater: The Understudy, Outrage; Stamford Theatre Works: Visiting Mr. Green (Connecticut Critics Circle Award, Best Actor); San Jose Repertory Theatre: Mary's Wedding (US Premiere); PlayMakers Repertory Company: Henry IV, Henry V, The Playboy of the Western World; Capital Repertory Theatre: Picasso at the Lapin Agile; Barrington Stage Company: A View From the Roof (US Premiere); FringeNYC: Rap. Off-Broadway: The Mac Wellmann Festival: Sincerity Forever; The Cherry Lane Alternative: The Allegory of Painting. Film and television: That '70s Show, All My Children, Celebrity Death Match, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Dorian Blues.
Dylan Paul (Octavius Caesar) - Regional: Oregon Shakespeare Festival: Great Expectations, Hamlet, Head Over Heels, The Count of Monte Cristo; Houston Shakespeare Festival: Twelfth Night, Richard III; American Shakespeare Center: Romeo and Juliet, Troilus and Cressida, She Stoops to Conquer, All's Well That Ends Well, Return to the Forbidden Planet; Illinois Shakespeare Festival: Romeo and Juliet, As You Like It, The Rivals; Empirical Theatre: Don Juan; Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre: Carousel, All Shook Up, A Grand Night for Singing, Brigadoon, Pirates of Penzance, Annie Get Your Gun. Broadway: Roundabout Theatre Company: Cabaret.
Robert Richmond (Director) - Folger Theatre: Timon of Athens, Julius Caesar (2014, 2001), Richard III, Twelfth Night, Henry V, Othello, Henry VIII. Director of the Folger Shakespeare Library audio recordings: Julius Caesar, Richard III, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Hamlet, A Midsummer Night's Dream. Regional theaters include: The Lost Colony; La Jolla Playhouse; Denver Center for the Performing Arts; Two River Theater Company. Off-Broadway: Much Ado About Nothing, The Comedy Of Errors, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Cyrano de Bergerac, The Iliad: Book One, King Lear, Twelfth Night, Agamemnon. He is Artistic Director of Theatre South Carolina, Chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of South Carolina. Directed Dreadful Sorry, winner of the South Carolina Film Commission's 2010 Production Grant. Robert Richmond is an Associate Artist of Folger Theatre. This season Robert will direct Antony and Cleopatra at the Folger, The Pavilion for Full Circle Productions, The Crucible for Theatre South Carolina, and Arden of Faversham for Full Circle Productions.
Tony Cisek (Scenic Design) - Folger Theatre: Timon of Athens, District Merchants, Mary Stuart, Julius Caesar, Richard III, Twelfth Night, Henry V, The Taming of the Shrew, Othello (2011), The Comedy of Errors, Henry VIII, Much Ado About Nothing (2009, 1998), 1 Henry IV, The School For Scandal, The Tempest (2007, 2000), Romeo and Juliet (2005, 1997), Melissa Arctic, Elizabeth the Queen, Twelfth Night (costumes), As You Like It (2001), Shakespeare's R & J, Hamlet; Folger Consort: The Second Shepherds' Play (2016, 2007), Comus. Work at other DC theatres includes: Arena Stage, Ford's Theatre, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Round House Theatre, Signature Theatre, Theater J, Theater Alliance, The Kennedy Center. Regional theaters include: Guthrie Theater, Goodman Theatre, ALLIANCE THEATRE, South Coast Repertory, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Portland Center Stage, Cleveland Play House, Intiman Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Syracuse Stage, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Two River Theater Company, Delaware Theatre Company. Off-Broadway: Beyond Glory, columbinus.
Mariah Hale (Costume Design) - Folger Theatre: Timon of Athens, Sense and Sensibility, Mary Stuart, Julius Caesar, Richard III, Twelfth Night, Henry V, Henry VIII (Associate Costume Designer), Othello (Associate Costume Designer). Regional: Goodspeed Opera/Norma Terris Theatre: Both Barrells; American Stage Company: The Butter and Egg Man; Algonquin Arts Center: The 39 Steps, A Year with Frog and Toad; Kline Theatre: Romeo and Juliet; Yvonne Theater: Nine, The Misanthrope. Off-Broadway: Variety Arts Theater: A Good Swift Kick; New York Music Theatre Festival: Cyclops: A Rock Opera. Associate Costume Designer: Regional: Dallas Theater Center: Arsenic and Old Lace. The Lost Colony: The Lost Colony. Madison Square Garden: A Christmas Carol. Roundabout Theater: Picnic, Company. Broadway and National Tours: Smokey Joe's Café, Chicago, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, Crazy for You, Guys and Dolls, Andrew Lloyd Weber's Music of the Night, Disney's King David. Teaches fashion design at College of Morris and Brookdale College, costume design at Gettysburg College and Rider University, Westminster School of the Arts.
Andrew F. Griffin (Lighting Design) - Folger Theatre: Timon of Athens, Twelfth Night, Henry V (Helen Hayes Award), Othello (Helen Hayes nomination); Olney Theater Center: The Producers, Avenue Q, A Chorus Line, You're A Good Man Charlie Brown; Signature Theatre: The Last 5 Years; Woolly Mammoth: You for Me for You; Synetic Theater: King Lear (Helen Hayes Award), The Tempest (Helen Hayes nomination), A Midsummer Night's Dream, Othello; Theater J: Race. Regional: Yale Repertory Theatre: The Moors; Riverside Theatre: A Chorus Line; Yale Dramatic Association: The Wild Party; Yale School of Drama: Othello, The Children, Don Juan, The Master and Margarita, Measure for Measure; Yale Summer Cabaret: Midsummer, Orlando, Antarctica!, Phaedra's Love; Tricities Opera: La Boheme; International: He Left Quietly (Toronto, Canada); AFGLighting.com.
Adam Stamper (Music Composition & Sound Design) - Folger Shakespeare Library audio recordings: Julius Caesar, Hamlet, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Richard III, Romeo and Juliet; Audio Engineer - Video: Whistlefritz - Animals, Whistlefritz - Fritzi's Party, Whistlefritz - Let's Play, Car 'n Coffee Series; Audio Engineer - Music: Richard Smallwood - Promises, Christopher Lapina - Eclectic Eve, Disney Cruise Lines - Remember the Magic, Royal Caribbean - Virtual Orchestra. thesoundsofmister.com
Michele Osherow (Resident Dramaturg) - Folger Theatre: Timon of Athens, As You Like It, Sense and Sensibility, District Merchants, A Midsummer Night's Dream (2006, 2016), texts&beheadings/ElizabethR, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Mary Stuart, Julius Caesar, Fiasco Theater Co.'s The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Richard III, Romeo and Juliet (dramaturg and actor), Twelfth Night, Henry V, The Conference of the Birds, The Taming of the Shrew, The Gaming Table, Othello (2011, 2001), Cyrano, The Comedy of Errors, Henry VIII, Hamlet, Orestes: A Tragic Romp, Much Ado About Nothing, Arcadia, The Winter's Tale, 1 Henry IV, Macbeth, The Tempest, Measure for Measure (dramaturg and actor). Regional: Quotidian Theatre Company: Afterplay (actor), A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur (actor), Captain Drew on Leave, Dublin Carol, The Carpetbagger's Children, The Mollusc, Tomorrow (actor), The Seagull (actor), Valentine's Day (actor), While We Have the Light (actor), Uncle Vanya (actor), A Little Trick (actor); Jewish Repertory Theatre: The Dybbuk (actor). Arden Theatre Company: The Chosen, As You Like It (actor), Love's Labors [sic] (actor); Associate Professor of English at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
The Folger Shakespeare Library, opened in 1932, featured the first replica in North America of an Elizabethan theater, a 250-seat space designed to suggest the inn-yard playing spaces. Founders Henry and Emily Folger envisioned it as a place for the performance of plays in Shakespeare's style, and the first nationally televised broadcast of a Shakespeare play in the U.S. was Julius Caesar from the Folger stage in 1949. Director of Public Programs Janet Alexander Griffin established Folger Theatre in 1991 and has since, as Artistic Producer, produced more than twenty-five seasons of Shakespeare, other plays from the period, and new works, including commissions, inspired by the period. Folger Theatre premiered the original Shakespeare for My Father, Lynn Redgrave's reminiscence of her theatrical family, as well as Roger Rees' What You Will; co-produced Teller and Aaron Posner's magical Macbeth, released on video; was the first Washington venue to present a production from Shakespeare's Globe from London; and has collaborated with the Classical Theatre of Harlem, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Guthrie, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, and other theaters across the country.
Since 1991, Folger Theatre has been honored by the Helen Hayes Awards with 30 awards and 146 nominations for excellence in acting, direction, design, and production-including the Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Resident Play in 2007 for Measure for Measure, 2011 for Hamlet (a year in which all three of Folger's theatrical productions were nominated in that category), 2013 for The Taming of the Shrew, and most recently, for the 2016 staging of Sense and Sensibility (which garnered four Helen Hayes Awards).
Folger Shakespeare Library is a renowned center for scholarship, learning, culture, and the arts. Home to the world's largest Shakespeare collection and a primary repository for research material from the early modern period (1500-1750), Folger Shakespeare Library is an internationally recognized research library offering advanced scholarly programs in the humanities; a national leader in how Shakespeare is taught in grades K-12; and an award-winning producer of cultural and arts programs -theatre, music, poetry, exhibits, lectures, and family programs. A gift to the American people from industrialist Henry Clay Folger, Folger Shakespeare Library-located one block east of the U.S. Capitol-opened in 1932 and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Learn more at www.folger.edu.