Pittsburgh Shakespeare In The Parks Continues Its 19th Season with an All-Female Cleopatra & Antony, September 2-October 1, 2023
Politics meets passion in the timeless story of Cleopatra and Anthony, Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks’ 19th season outdoor production, during five weekends in September.
Founding Artistic Director Jennifer Tober takes a twist on Shakespeare’s classic, examining and highlighting the strength and passion of the female characters—putting Cleopatra first. Tober stages PSiP’s first production of the history play in four different City of Pittsburgh parks and at The Frick’s Clayton Mansion grounds. The season extends through October 4th with an outdoor showcase of Shakespeare selections by PSiP actors at The Frick on the Clayton Mansions Grounds. A cast of nine will portray more than two dozen roles during 11 performances of Cleopatra &Antony.
“We are excited to keep expanding our diversity footprint and our mission of excellent, free Shakespeare for all in our 19th season with this innovative all-female version of Cleopatra & Antony,” says Tober, who directs her fourth production for PSiP. “Because we are committed to giving roles to women and female-identifying performers, we highlight the character of Cleopatra, one of the most fascinating and complicated characters in all of Shakespeare’s plays as well as in history,” says Tober. “Thus, the title change from Anthony and Cleopatra to Cleopatra & Antony.”
Tober stresses: “It is vital at this time in history, when arts censorship is on the rise, and the rights of women, people of color, and LBGTQ folks are being eradicated, that we tell Shakespeare’s stories in relevant and innovative ways that speak to all people.
“And, of course, get ready for our big musical numbers as we bring the Bard’s words to life. We are psyched to add the Frick Museum Clayton House lawn to our season this year – September 23 and 24 – and are honored to be back in the beautiful city parks of Frick Park, Highland Park, Westinghouse in Homewood, and Oakland’s Schenley Plaza.”
In addition to a company of nine players, she announces: “We are so fortunate and excited again to be working with Music Director extraordinaire Matt Calvetti.”
Callee Miles, in her PSiP debut, portrays Egypt’s Queen Cleopatra. Miles also plays Octavia, sister to Octavius Caesar, whom Antony marries for political reasons during the play despite his ongoing relationship with Cleopatra. Harper York appears as Rome’s Mark Antony, a role York portrayed in PSiP’s all-female Julius Caesar in 2019. York is also cast as the Clown.Other principal actors appearing in multiple roles include returning PSiP actor Catherine Baird, who portrays Charmian, Lepidus, Menecrates, and Schoolmaster. Joanna Getting returns to the company as Enobarbus and Proculeius.
CLEOPATRA & ANTONY TICKETS and DETAILS:
- Sat. & Sun. Sept 2 and 3 at 2 pm, Frick Park
- Sat. & Sun. Sept 9 and 10 at 2 pm, Highland Park
- Sat. & Sun. Sept 16 and 17 at 2 pm, Westinghouse Park
- Fri. September 22nd at 6 pm, Schenley Plaza, Oakland
- Sat. & Sun. Sept. 23 and 24 at 2 pm, Frick North Lawn at Clayton House, Point Breeze
- Sat. & Sun. September 30th and October 1st at 2 pm, Frick Park
Admission is free, with online and onsite donations requested.
Categories: Arts and Ideas