RemarkaBULL Podversations are informal, livestreamed conversations that investigate approaches to essential passages from the Shakespearean and Jacobean canon―and beyond.

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RemarkaBULL Podversation

EXPLORING

ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA

WITH ROBERT CUCCIOLI AND LAILA ROBINS

LIVESTREAM
Monday, March 1, 2021

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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

CLEOPATRA

I am sick and sullen.

MARK ANTONY

I am sorry to give breathing to my purpose,--

CLEOPATRA

Help me away, dear Charmian; I shall fall:

It cannot be thus long, the sides of nature

Will not sustain it.

MARK ANTONY

Now, my dearest queen,--

CLEOPATRA

Pray you, stand further from me.

MARK ANTONY

What's the matter?

CLEOPATRA

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.

MARK ANTONY

The gods best know,--

CLEOPATRA

O, never was there queen

So mightily betray'd! yet at the first

I saw the treasons planted.

MARK ANTONY

Cleopatra,--

CLEOPATRA

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!

MARK ANTONY

Most sweet queen,--

CLEOPATRA

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.

MARK ANTONY

How now, lady!

CLEOPATRA

I would I had thy inches; thou shouldst know

There were a heart in Egypt.

MARK ANTONY

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.

CLEOPATRA

Though age from folly could not give me freedom,

It does from childishness: can Fulvia die?

MARK ANTONY

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.

CLEOPATRA

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.

MARK ANTONY

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.

CLEOPATRA

Cut my lace, Charmian, come;

But let it be: I am quickly ill, and well,

So Antony loves.

MARK ANTONY

My precious queen, forbear;

And give true evidence to his love, which stands

An honourable trial.

CLEOPATRA

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.

MARK ANTONY

You'll heat my blood: no more.

CLEOPATRA

You can do better yet; but this is meetly.

MARK ANTONY

Now, by my sword,--

CLEOPATRA

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.

MARK ANTONY

I'll leave you, lady.

CLEOPATRA

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.

MARK ANTONY

But that your royalty

Holds idleness your subject, I should take you

For idleness itself.

CLEOPATRA

'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!

MARK ANTONY

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.

NATHAN WINKELSTEIN is Red Bull Theater's Associate Artistic Director. He has been with Red Bull Theater for three years, serving as Producing Director of The Revelation Reading Series, Education Director of Shakespeare in Schools and the Masterclass offerings. He also serves as a literary and casting associate for Red Bull. Nathan is also the NY Casting Associate for American Shakespeare Center. He has acted or directed for numerous companies around the country and in the UK, including Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Shakespeare Theater Company, W.H.A.T., LCT, The Folger, The Tobacco Factory, American Shakespeare Center and others. Nathan has taught for Red Bull, STC, LCT, WHAT, TGS and Shakespeare Forum; he also provides private acting coaching in NYC. Nathan received his BA in Theater from the University at Buffalo and his MFA in Classical Acting from the prestigious Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in the UK. Nathan is a proud member of Actors Equity.

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