ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA - October 2017, Directed by William Wolfgang

You did know how much you were my conqueror;
And that my sword, made weak by my affection,
Would obey it on all cause.
— William Shakespeare, ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA

One of Shakespeare’s greatest masterpieces, Antony and Cleopatra, stormed The Barn stage in fall of 2017.  Featuring Queen Cleopatra of Egypt, one of the world’s most iconic characters from both history and literature, wrangling with her lover, Mark Antony.  As these two Titans quip back and forth in their lover’s quarrels, the world’s mightiest empire takes aim at their indulgent and luxurious Egypt.  What follows is some of The Bard’s finest storytelling; his daring verse fused with epic battles, all accentuated by Cleopatra’s ultimate plan to best her enemies.

Check out the CENTRAL PA ART WORKS REVIEW of the production here.

ANTONY & CLEOPATRA - DIRECTOR'S NOTES

This production marks an exciting milestone for OrangeMite: the Friday, October 6th performance of Antony and Cleopatra is our 100th performance at The Barn.  I’m extremely proud of how far we’ve come since the very first performance of In The Globe over nine years ago.  We have brought over twenty of Shakespeare’s works to Central PA from As You Like It to The Tempest.  Check them all out for yourself at OrangeMite.org/TheCanon/

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With support from the Cultural Alliance of York County we have brought three years of Shakespeare summer camps for youth to our area.  Our students have blown audiences away with their level of comprehension, artistry, and humanity, and we’ve measured benefits in students’ literacy as well as their self-confidence.  In addition, we are currently working with Dover Area School District to create programs that will bring OrangeMite’s Shakespearean theatre expertise into the English classroom for ALL local high school students.

As members of the Shakespeare Theatre Association, OrangeMite has become a part of a larger world that works together to bring this art form alive.  Through this incredible organization we have worked closely with our colleagues at Gamut Theatre (the Harrisburg Shakespeare Company) and with our mentor theatre company, Shakespeare’s Globe in London.  These collaborations have opened up rewarding new opportunities in our quest to achieve our mission here in the York County community.

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As one would expect, getting to 100 performances here at The Barn is no small feat.  Over the past decade there have been few constants.  However, the singular most important constant for me and for the organization is the unwavering and profound support from Dr. Mary Snow and Dr. Douglas Gonzales.  They have graciously opened their barn up to hundreds of different actors, musicians and artists, and thousands of patrons during the course of the 100 performances.  Mary has also created the dazzling plethora of costumes you see each time you come to one of these productions.  Words alone cannot express my gratitude, nor can they express the admiration this community has for Mary and Doug’s contributions to our mission.

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Much like the soldiers that you will see battle their way across the stage this evening, it takes a small army to put together a production of this size.  I would like to recognize the OrangeMite Studios Board of Directors, our contributors (see our supporters and learn how you can help the cause on page 10), our loyal fans, our season sponsor Dover Area Animal Hospital, and our production sponsors P-B Truss and Sarah’s Creamery, as well as our advertisers that you can see throughout this program.  I would also like to recognize Dover Township for their support of our new traveling productions.  Of course, many thanks to our cast, crew, and staff - without them, the art you will see tonight would never be possible.  

In my nine years of directing plays at OrangeMite, few are comparable to the scope of Shakespeare’s epic Antony and Cleopatra.  While I am referring, in part, to the number of actors, and the absolutely breathtaking scope of the costumes, the script itself dominates.  It is a fitting production for our 100th performance.

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This play occupies many places, all seemingly at once.  The action hops across the world from Egypt to Greece to Rome and back again.  While the characters of Antony and Cleopatra Shakespeare created would certainly want you to think this play is totally about their tumultuous and their all-too-real love story, it is a story about geopolitics. Pompey tries to rebel against the triumvirate (Antony, Octavius and Lepidus), which leads to series of events that would change the history of the world, and bring to an end an empire which existed for over three thousand years!

I will, however, concede the political situation of this story revolves around the world’s first celebrity couple.  Antony and Cleopatra never do anything in private; their relationship, in complete contrast with Shakespeare's other famous star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet, is played out entirely in the public eye.  As you observe their interactions throughout this story, it appears that they would have it no other way.  Antony and Cleopatra’s grandiose interactions with each other, combined with the never dull, but hopelessly binary world of either Rome or Egypt, create the perfect showcase of what this organization and these artists can do.  

Here’s to the next 100 performances!  But for now, we present one of William Shakespeare's greatest tragedies, in all of its grandeur, Antony and Cleopatra.

- William Wolfgang, Executive Director

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Dan Griffin as Sextus Pompeius in OrangeMite's upcoming production of ANTONY AND CLEOPTRA.