Recommended Minimum Age: 10
|Sunday||May 15||after the show|
|Sunday||May 22||after the show|
Talkbacks are an opportunity to discuss with the artists and/or directors of the production. You may ask questions or share your own knowledge pertaining to the performance.
Reviews & Comments
5 out of 5 stars ★★★★★ on Yelp!
“So very proud to have this company in SF! I went yesterday with a group of friends to see Anthony and Cleopatra and it was great! This company of actors is truly special and I can’t wait to see more of what they can do next season!
The production was modern but still had the traditional Shakespeare language and humor/tragedy. The caliber of acting was pretty amazing and we had a great time. The theater (Buriel Clay) is intimate so pretty much all the seats are good. The tickets were reasonably priced and there’s a great gallery in the lobby with beautiful photographs.
Please support this company! This is the type of thing SF needs to preserve its rich culture and diversity.”
“That was an extraordinary performance and incredible production. Thank you. It is always a pleasure to see you. (such athleticism! how does Peter sit on that chair-back?)”
—Professor Todd Olson
“The play on Opening Night was superb! I loved it! The second act was particularly strong. I truly enjoyed every minute. Congratulations to all on a marvelous and creative production!”
—Alan Schnur, The Schnur Group
Patrons who attended our closing weekend performances and did not receive an Antony and Cleopatra program book and would like a printed copy—please contact us here and indicate your wish to receive one in the Comments section. We will mail a copy to you.
Antony and Cleopatra
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Jon Tracy
Starring L. Peter Callender and Leontyne Mbele-Mbong
ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA — Shakespeare’s epic love story — is set in modern day. Mark Antony has traded his power over an empire for the forbidden love of one woman, Cleopatra, the Queen of Egypt. Jealousy, betrayal, death, and war cannot refute their undying love for each other. With award winning actors L. Peter Callender and Leontyne Mbele-Mbong in the title roles of Mark Antony and Cleopatra.
The history of humanity is the history of our quest for power. We are taught that power affords us control and, being that we are fundamentally insecure beings, we seek these perceived strengths by way of personal and societal sacrifices. It’s true of every individual, household, community and state, whether rich or poor, servant or king: each ultimately defined by the lengths we are willing to go to call the shots.
Because to be in control is to be able to lay out our legacies and we, as legacy-driven creatures, need to plant the seeds of our earth’s present so that it might resemble a world where we were right and our enemies have no place. We want our myth to be defined our way…we want to write the narrative.
History shows us the terrible effects of this mindset unchecked. Though many have wielded power with just intent, they still had to subscribe to a hierarchy of classism, which takes the above tenets but skews them so much that the game can only be played by those born into the high end of the power structure, sacrificing our fellow citizens. But the sacrifice is larger: for to sacrifice one’s citizens is to sacrifice the perspectives of the human community. And community is the only true measure of identity. As we learn to grasp power, we shrink our communities to the like-minded, no longer hearing opposition, and therefore no longer being relevant to others and, ultimately, ourselves.
In Antony and Cleopatra the community that either title character can fully control has become a community of two. Both have carved out a bubble for themselves, away from the rest of the world, a safe haven for their love that they feel can’t be touched by outside influence. Like all of us, fundamentally lost souls that are actually terrified by the power we’ve attained, they try to detach and find some sense of utopia where the above rules don’t apply.
But because we have all subscribed to the fallacy of classism, the world needs them to act, to be responsible for their states, to take back the communities they thought they could sacrifice. We have let our leaders glue our planet together. Antony and Cleopatra is the story of what happens when leaders yearn to be the very humans they ran away from all those years ago in hopes of attaining a sense of legacy that, it turns out, is as mythological as the process they built to attain it.