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One of the classical theater’s power couples ROBERT CUCCIOLI and LAILA ROBINS will join host NATHAN WINKELSTEIN, Red Bull’s Associate Artistic Director, for a conversation focused on Shakespeare’s power couple, Antony and Cleopatra. The conversation will examine the quarrel from the third scene of the first act (‘I am sick and sullen’) of Antony and Cleopatra. They will read the scene and discuss their approach to character development and romance on stage. They will take your questions through Youtube and Facebook LIVE.
From Act 1: Scene 3
I am sick and sullen.
I am sorry to give breathing to my purpose,--
Help me away, dear Charmian; I shall fall:
It cannot be thus long, the sides of nature
Will not sustain it.
Now, my dearest queen,--
Pray you, stand further from me.
What's the matter?
I know, by that same eye, there's some good news.
What says the married woman? You may go:
Would she had never given you leave to come!
Let her not say 'tis I that keep you here:
I have no power upon you; hers you are.
The gods best know,--
O, never was there queen
So mightily betray'd! yet at the first
I saw the treasons planted.
Why should I think you can be mine and true,
Though you in swearing shake the throned gods,
Who have been false to Fulvia? Riotous madness,
To be entangled with those mouth-made vows,
Which break themselves in swearing!
Most sweet queen,--
Nay, pray you, seek no colour for your going,
But bid farewell, and go: when you sued staying,
Then was the time for words: no going then;
Eternity was in our lips and eyes,
Bliss in our brows' bent; none our parts so poor,
But was a race of heaven: they are so still,
Or thou, the greatest soldier of the world,
Art turn'd the greatest liar.
How now, lady!
I would I had thy inches; thou shouldst know
There were a heart in Egypt.
Hear me, queen:
The strong necessity of time commands
Our services awhile; but my full heart
Remains in use with you. Our Italy
Shines o'er with civil swords: Sextus Pompeius
Makes his approaches to the port of Rome:
Equality of two domestic powers
Breed scrupulous faction: the hated, grown to strength,
Are newly grown to love: the condemn'd Pompey,
Rich in his father's honour, creeps apace,
Into the hearts of such as have not thrived
Upon the present state, whose numbers threaten;
And quietness, grown sick of rest, would purge
By any desperate change: my more particular,
And that which most with you should safe my going,
Is Fulvia's death.
Though age from folly could not give me freedom,
It does from childishness: can Fulvia die?
She's dead, my queen:
Look here, and at thy sovereign leisure read
The garboils she awaked; at the last, best:
See when and where she died.
O most false love!
Where be the sacred vials thou shouldst fill
With sorrowful water? Now I see, I see,
In Fulvia's death, how mine received shall be.
Quarrel no more, but be prepared to know
The purposes I bear; which are, or cease,
As you shall give the advice. By the fire
That quickens Nilus' slime, I go from hence
Thy soldier, servant; making peace or war
As thou affect'st.
Cut my lace, Charmian, come;
But let it be: I am quickly ill, and well,
So Antony loves.
My precious queen, forbear;
And give true evidence to his love, which stands
An honourable trial.
So Fulvia told me.
I prithee, turn aside and weep for her,
Then bid adieu to me, and say the tears
Belong to Egypt: good now, play one scene
Of excellent dissembling; and let it look
Life perfect honour.
You'll heat my blood: no more.
You can do better yet; but this is meetly.
Now, by my sword,--
And target. Still he mends;
But this is not the best. Look, prithee, Charmian,
How this Herculean Roman does become
The carriage of his chafe.
I'll leave you, lady.
Courteous lord, one word.
Sir, you and I must part, but that's not it:
Sir, you and I have loved, but there's not it;
That you know well: something it is I would,
O, my oblivion is a very Antony,
And I am all forgotten.
But that your royalty
Holds idleness your subject, I should take you
For idleness itself.
'Tis sweating labour
To bear such idleness so near the heart
As Cleopatra this. But, sir, forgive me;
Since my becomings kill me, when they do not
Eye well to you: your honour calls you hence;
Therefore be deaf to my unpitied folly.
And all the gods go with you! upon your sword
Sit laurel victory! and smooth success
Be strew'd before your feet!
Let us go. Come;
Our separation so abides, and flies,
That thou, residing here, go'st yet with me,
And I, hence fleeting, here remain with thee. Away!
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
ROBERT CUCCIOLI’s Broadway credits include Jekyll & Hyde (Tony nomination, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, FANY and Chicago’s Joseph Jefferson Awards), Les Miserables, and Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. Off-Broadway 2019 season Robert was seen in the Red Bull Theatre production of The White Devil and as Caesar in Gingold Group’s production of Caesar & Cleopatra. Both were New York Times’ Critic’s Pick. Pre-COVID shutdown, Robert was in rehearsal for A Touch of the Poet at The Irish Rep. which regretfully did not make it to the stage, yet. However, this past September, filming was completed on the play. It aired late Oct. 2020 and again recently as part of The Irish Rep’s Winter Festival (Jan. 30 – Feb. 16). Robert has spent much of this past year performing live and recorded events to benefit struggling theaters and institutions such as a radio-play version of Macbeth for The Actors’ Fund which aired in late October. Television: “The Sinner,” “Elementary,” “White Collar,” and the soon to be filmed Web Series “Tradecraft: On the Run.” Film: Celebrity, The Stranger, The Rest of Us, Impossible Monsters, Columbus on Trial. Robert is extremely proud to be a member of this resilient community of artists and is eager for the day when we can all support one another in person, once again. www.robertcuccioli.com.
LAILA ROBINS’s Broadway credits include Heartbreak House, Frozen (Lucille Lortel nomination), The Real Thing, The Herbal Bed. Off-Broadway: The Dance of Death (Red Bull), The Apple Family Plays (Drama Desk Award, OBIE Award), Lady From Dubuque (Outer Critics Circle nom., Richard Seff Award), Mrs. Klein (Jefferson Award and Helen Hayes nom.), A Midsummer Night's Dream (The Public's Shakespeare in the Park), Antony and Cleopatra, Sore Throats (Lortel nom.), Tiny Alice, Merchant of Venice (Calloway Award). Regional: A Streetcar Named Desire (Steppenwolf, Jefferson Award), productions at the Guthrie, Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, McCarter, George Street, Williamstown, Barrington Stage. Film/TV: The Good Shepherd, Side Effects, An Innocent Man, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, soon to be released A Call To Spy, The Rest of Us, “The Boys,” “The Blacklist,” “The Bold Type,” “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Deception,” “Homeland,” “Bull,” “New Amsterdam,” “In Treatment,” “Bored To Death,” “Sopranos.” “Too Big To Fail.” MFA: Yale Drama School.