Antony & Cleopatra: RSC & Public collabaration

The Public Theater are to collarborate with Miami's GableStage and Great Britain's Royal Shakespeare Company to present Tarell Alvin McCraney's "radical" new staging of William Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra.

Directed and edited by McCraney, Antony and Cleopatra will premiere at the Royal Shakespeare Company's Stratford-upon-Avon home in Nov 2013 before coming to the United States to play at Miami's GableStage at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts in Jan 2014 followed by The Public Theater in late Jan 2014.

McCraney's staging of Antony and Cleopatra will be set in the late 1700s against the backdrop of Saint-Domingue, on the eve of the Haitian Revolution against the French, bringing to light vivid historical parallels with the story of Antony and Cleopatra.

Tarell Alvin McCraney said, "Taking this equal parts tragedy equal parts history and setting it in the budding racial politics of the New World, a history ripe with pirating and battles over loyalty, we heighten the forbidden and passionate love affair between the conqueror, Antony, and colonized, Cleopatra,"

The cast will feature a mix of actors from the UK and the U.S.

RSC Artistic Director Gregory Doran said, "Tarell was an inspirational writer in residence with us and I'm so pleased that we are able to work with him and such great American theatre companies on a new project, presented in collaboration with The Ohio State University, who've recently become our presenting partner in the U.S. I hope audiences on both sides of the Atlantic will enjoy this radical relook at a familiar story."

Public Theater Artistic Director Oskar Eustis. "We know we will be working with Tarell for many years to come and we hope to continue to collaborate with our British colleagues in the RSC deep into the future; and we are delighted to welcome GableStage and Miami into our artistic lives. This is a partnership created for all the right reasons, and we expect wonderful results."

McCraney's 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, McCraney was the RSC/ CAPITAL CENTRE Warwick International Playwright in Residence in 2009-2011 and is now an artistic associate. 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 will receive its world premiere in 2013 in Chicago. McCraney was the recipient of London's Evening Standard Award for Most Promising Playwright 2008, the inaugural New York Times Outstanding Playwright Award 2009 and the 2009 Steinberg Award.

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.

Tarell Alvin McCraney

Originally published on

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