American Players Theatre
5950 Golf Course Road
P.O. Box 819
Spring Green, WI 53588
Box Office: 608-588-2361
Antony and Cleopatra is a love story with the power to shatter nations. (Sound hyperbolic? Trust us, it’s not.) But reality has a way of intruding on romance, and love isn’t the only force at work here. Shaky political alliances, ambition and war threaten the borders of Cleopatra’s beloved Egypt. And as Antony scorns his duty to the Roman Empire from the soft harbor of his lover’s bed, the aspiring young ruler Octavius Caesar circles them like a hungry cat, the balance of power shifting with the unreliable desert sands.
This story is no less than epic, spanning decades and continents. And yet, as we bring Shakespeare indoors for the very first time at APT we find that it’s also shockingly intimate. A seven-character adaptation that distills and transcends, offering a chance to sit up close to Shakespeare’s hottest couple and experience their every bellow and sigh.
Modern love in APT's 'Antony and Cleopatra'
By Aaron Conklin, Stage Write, September 4,2013.
Classically Summer: Shakespeare lives on after Labor Day
By Paul Kosidowski, Milwaukee Magazine, September 4, 2013.
A Wisconsin Tragedy
By Terry Teachout, The Wall Street Journal, August 29 2013.
APT's Antony and Cleopatra: A modern adaptation in an intimate setting
By Michael Muckian, ExpressMilwaukee.com, August 29, 2013
Antony and Cleopatra: An affair to remember between a general and a queen
By Lindsay Christians, The Capital Times, August 21, 2013
American Players Theatre's Antony & Cleopatra takes creative risks in the indoor Tocuhstone Theatre
By Jennifer A. Smith, The Isthmus, August 19, 2013
APT closing summer strong with 'All My Sons,' 'Cleopatra'
By Mike Fischer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, August 19, 2013
Theatre Review: Antony and Cleopatra at American Players Theatre
By Chris Jones, The Chicago Tribune, August 18, 2013
Shakespeare Didn't Need All Those Characters Anyway
By Russ Bickerstaff, ExpressMilwaukee.com, August 8, 2013
The story of Antony and Cleopatra is one of love, but also one of politics, war and ambition. The actual events were intensely dramatic – hence the appeal to novelists, dramatists and screenwriters.
– Adrian Goldsworthy, Antony and Cleopatra
Our assignment was to adapt Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra for the Touchstone Theatre, using minimal design and no more than seven actors. My co-writer James DeVita, fearless man that he is, plunged in without taking a breath. I paused, saying to myself, “one of the world’s greatest romantic relationships, sea battles, four suicides, fall of the Egyptian Empire and solidification of the Roman, on a small stage with a small cast…where to begin?”
We approached the assignment by stripping away text unrelated to the couple’s relationship. If you are expecting all of the characters and epic details of Shakespeare’s original drama you will not find them. However, you will find Antony and Cleopatra’s love, in all of its sensuality and agony, as well as the significance of Octavius Caesar’s role as an important part of this triangle of power. As we dismantled and adapted this amazing play, much of our work involved joyous creative surprise and everlasting respect for the original author.
Our decision to modernize the location and dress came from our desire to strip away all but the relationships by focusing on the strength of our actors. Ancient hints are there, but so are the hints at contemporary power and wealth.
The opportunity to direct this production has been a personal joy, challenge and a wonderful creative collaboration. Through the amazing insights of our design team, most talented company of actors and a theatre like no other, here are the results of our efforts.