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 CYMBELINE WITH LILY RABE

LIVESTREAM RECORDING
RECORDED Monday, May 3, 2021 

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Known for her countless leading roles in the theatre and on-screen in film and television, LILY RABE has paved her own path as a critically acclaimed, versatile actor. She will join host NATHAN WINKELSTEIN, Red Bull’s Associate Artistic Director, for a conversation focused on an essential passage (Act 3: Scene 4) from Shakespeare's CYMBELINE. She will read an excerpt and discuss the rewards and challenges of playing one of Shakespeare’s more complex comedic leading ladies, Imogen–a role she played to great acclaim in the Park in 2015. They will take your questions through chat, too!

 
Shakespeare's CYMBELINE
ACT 3: SCENE 4

IMOGEN

Thou told'st me, when we came from horse, the place

Was near at hand: ne'er long'd my mother so

To see me first, as I have now. Pisanio! man!

Where is Posthumus? What is in thy mind,

That makes thee stare thus? Wherefore breaks that sigh

From the inward of thee? One, but painted thus,

Would be interpreted a thing perplex'd

Beyond self-explication: put thyself

Into a havior of less fear, ere wildness

Vanquish my staider senses. What's the matter?

Why tender'st thou that paper to me, with

A look untender? If't be summer news,

Smile to't before; if winterly, thou need'st

But keep that countenance still. My husband's hand!

That drug-damn'd Italy hath out-craftied him,

And he's at some hard point. Speak, man: thy tongue

May take off some extremity, which to read

Would be even mortal to me.

PISANIO

Please you, read;

And you shall find me, wretched man, a thing

The most disdain'd of fortune.

IMOGEN

[Reads] 'Thy mistress, Pisanio, hath played the

strumpet in my bed; the testimonies whereof lie

bleeding in me. I speak not out of weak surmises,

but from proof as strong as my grief and as certain

as I expect my revenge. That part thou, Pisanio,

must act for me, if thy faith be not tainted with

the breach of hers. Let thine own hands take away

her life: I shall give thee opportunity at

Milford-Haven. She hath my letter for the purpose

where, if thou fear to strike and to make me certain

it is done, thou art the pandar to her dishonour and

equally to me disloyal.'

PISANIO

What shall I need to draw my sword? the paper

Hath cut her throat already. What cheer, madam?

 

IMOGEN

False to his bed! What is it to be false?

To lie in watch there and to think on him?

To weep 'twixt clock and clock? if sleep

charge nature,

To break it with a fearful dream of him

And cry myself awake? that's false to's bed, is it?

 

PISANIO

Alas, good lady!

 

IMOGEN

I false! Thy conscience witness: Iachimo,

Thou didst accuse him of incontinency;

Thou then look'dst like a villain; now methinks

Thy favour's good enough. Some jay of Italy

Whose mother was her painting, hath betray'd him:

Poor I am stale, a garment out of fashion;

And, for I am richer than to hang by the walls,

I must be ripp'd:--to pieces with me!--O,

Men's vows are women's traitors! All good seeming,

By thy revolt, O husband, shall be thought

Put on for villany; not born where't grows,

But worn a bait for ladies.

PISANIO

Good madam, hear me.

IMOGEN

True honest men being heard, like false Aeneas,

Were in his time thought false, and Sinon's weeping

Did scandal many a holy tear, took pity

From most true wretchedness: so thou, Posthumus,

Wilt lay the leaven on all proper men;

Goodly and gallant shall be false and perjured

From thy great fall. Come, fellow, be thou honest:

Do thou thy master's bidding: when thou see'st him,

A little witness my obedience: look!

I draw the sword myself: take it, and hit

The innocent mansion of my love, my heart;

Fear not; 'tis empty of all things but grief;

Thy master is not there, who was indeed

The riches of it: do his bidding; strike

Thou mayst be valiant in a better cause;

But now thou seem'st a coward.

PISANIO

Hence, vile instrument!

Thou shalt not damn my hand.

IMOGEN

Why, I must die;

And if I do not by thy hand, thou art

No servant of thy master's. Against self-slaughter

There is a prohibition so divine

That cravens my weak hand. Come, here's my heart.

Something's afore't. Soft, soft! we'll no defence;

Obedient as the scabbard. What is here?

The scriptures of the loyal Leonatus,

All turn'd to heresy? Away, away,

Corrupters of my faith! you shall no more

Be stomachers to my heart. Thus may poor fools

Believe false teachers: though those that

are betray'd

Do feel the treason sharply, yet the traitor

Stands in worse case of woe.

And thou, Posthumus, thou that didst set up

My disobedience 'gainst the king my father

And make me put into contempt the suits

Of princely fellows, shalt hereafter find

It is no act of common passage, but

A strain of rareness: and I grieve myself

To think, when thou shalt be disedged by her

That now thou tirest on, how thy memory

Will then be pang'd by me. Prithee, dispatch:

The lamb entreats the butcher: where's thy knife?

Thou art too slow to do thy master's bidding,

When I desire it too.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS
 

Known for her countless leading roles in the theatre and on-screen in film and TV, LILY RABE has paved her own path as a critically acclaimed, versatile actor.

 

Most recently, Rabe co-starred in HBO’s hit limited series THE UNDOING, opposite Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant. Now streaming on Amazon Prime Video is the ten episode drama series, TELL ME YOUR SECRETS, which Rabe leads alongside Hamish Linklater and Amy Brenneman. From Bruna Papandrea’s Made Up Stories, TELL ME YOUR SECRETS follows Emma (Rabe), a young woman who is searching for the truth about her past; motives grow murky, blurring the lines between victim and perpetrator. Upcoming, Rabe will be seen as Ethel Wells in Barry Jenkins’ THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD, set for a May 14, 2021 release.

 

Rabe is currently in production on George Clooney’s THE TENDER BAR, in which she plays the female lead alongside Ben Affleck, as well as the next season of Ryan Murphy’s hit anthology series AMERICAN HORROR STORY on FX. To date, Rabe has starred in all seasons of the show but one, and was nominated for a Critics Choice Award for her portrayal of “Sister Mary Eunice.” 

 

For her performance in Julia Hart’s MISS STEVENS, opposite Timothée Chalamet, Rabe was awarded Best Actress at the 2016 SXSW Film Festival. Other recent credits include: Annapurna’s VICE, directed by Adam McKay, alongside Amy Adams, Steve Carrell and Christian Bale; Netflix’s FRACTURE, opposite Sam Worthington; HBO’s movie THE WIZARD OF LIES, directed by Barry Levinson and starring Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer; Open Road’s heist thriller film FINDING STEVE McQUEEN; Alex Ross Perry’s GOLDEN EXITS; Blumhouse’s THE VEIL; PAWN SACRIFICE with Tobey Maguire; A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, with Finn Wittrock, Rachael Leigh Cook and Hamish Linklater; and ALL GOOD THINGS, opposite Ryan Gosling and Kirsten Dunst.

 

In Dan Sullivan’s THE MERCHANT OF VENICE (Broadway, The Public Theater), Rabe played the iconic role of Portia opposite Al Pacino; for her performance, she received Tony, Drama Desk and Drama League nominations. Rabe has also starred in, and received rave reviews in recent Shakespeare in the Park productions at The Public of MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, AS YOU LIKE IT and CYMBELINE. About Rabe’s ability to interpret Shakespeare, Oskar Eustis, the artistic director of the Public Theatre said, “I’m sure Balanchine felt this way when he found certain dancers.”

 

 Rabe made her Broadway debut in Robert Harling’s STEEL MAGNOLIAS, which garnered her a Drama Desk Award nomination. She also starred on Broadway in SEMINAR opposite Alan Rickman, The AMERICAN PLAN, and HEARTBREAK HOUSE (OCC nomination, Callaway Award).

 

Additionally, in the Williamstown Theatre Festival production of Henrik Ibsen’s landmark 1879 drama, A DOLL’S HOUSE, directed by Sam Gold, Rabe played Nora Helmer. At the Geffen Playhouse, Rabe played the titular role in Neil Labute’s contemporary remake of MISS JULIE. Off-Broadway, she also performed in CRIMES OF THE HEART, COLDER THAN HERE, PROOF, and THE CRAZY GIRL.

 

Via Kill Claudio Productions, Rabe and her producing partner Bettina Barrow are developing THE BIG D for HBO, as well as a film adaptation of the Chuck Klosterman novel, DOWNTOWN OWL.

 

Lily is a graduate of Northwestern University.  

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.