WHO COULD RESIST?
III" WAS SEEN
The company was inspired to interpret the play as a reflection
of the political tides of conflict that are sweeping through our government
centers now. "The current climate is as acrimonious as the War
of the Roses," maintains Clancy. The impulse was to interpret the
play as a sort of modern political fable. That view, and the resultant
yearning for political reunification, was also front-and-center when
the company chose to do "Cymbeline" this season (July 11 to
27), a play that portrays a divided world that is magically healed.
The production was dedicated to the memory of the late Richard A. Harden (d. 2011), a director of The Drilling Company who loved theater that posed political questions. He had been intent on directing "Richard III" in the Parking Lot. When the skeleton of the actual Richard III was unearthed in Leicester in February, "It made it obvious that all the signs were pointing to doing it this year," says Hamilton Clancy. The challenge, then, was "how 'Richard III' would be politically meaningful to us now."
Read our review in the New York Times
2013 Shakespeare in the Parking Lot season opened with "Cymbeline"
Hamilton Clancy, Artistic Director of The Drilling Company, chose "Cymbeline" as the opening show of the 2013 season of Shakespeare in the Parking Lot because it portrays a divided world that is magically healed. The play is a hopeful fable to invoke at a time when the world seems so irrevocably torn, with our own country so polarized and the Middle East ripping itself apart in hopeless religious conflicts. Performances were July 11 to 27 in the Municipal Parking Lot at the corner of Ludlow and Broome Streets.
"More than any other Shakespeare play, the themes of unity come through in the final act of the play," says Clancy. "That is why it seemed like the play to do right now."
"Cymbeline" has a complex, not a simple narrative, and is sometimes classified as a problem play because it is part history, part tragedy and part comedy. The marriage of Imogen and Posthumus is tested in the context of a rebellion of the Britons against the Roman Empire. King Cymbeline blunders in his relationship with his own wife and is led into a seemingly iremediable error in statecraft: he makes an impulsive and needless war on the Roman Empire. In the end, through a difficult but (in its context) believable series of actions, the tangled plot resolves itself with reconciliation and forgiveness. Everyone receives a just reward: the villains die, Imogen and Posthumus are reunited, the British kingdom survives and the Romans are defeated but their lives are spared.
In the love affair of Imogen and Postumus, and its testing by Iachimo, "Cymbeline" is also one of Shakespeare's most romantic plays. Since the birth of blockbuster space sagas, many of our culture's most romantic stories have been set in future centuries with republics battling empires. Hamilton Clancy, Artistic Director of The Drilling Company, wanted to experiment with synthesizing the two genres and says, "It occurred to me that futurism is pretty much the modern day language for romantic storytelling." Thus was born his idea for a futuristic, space-age production. He notes that Imogen's story fits the pattern of narrative identified by Joseph Campbell as The Hero's Journey, which is also the center of other futuristic mythologies. He adds, "Within the landscape of the parking lot, we are always on asphalt. That makes us look like we are on one moon or another."
The actors included Amanda Diller as Imogen, Keldrick Crawford as Cymbeline, Mark Byrne as Iachimo, Lukas Raphael as Posthumus, Carolyn Popp as The Queen, McKey Carpenter as Guiderius, Andy Markert as Cloton, Anton Rayn as Philario, Jonathan Eric Foster as Pisanio, Sajeev Pillai as Cornelius, David Sitler as Belarius and Adina Bloom as Aviragus. The ensemble included Haley Simmons, Skylar Gallun, Mary Linehan, Louisa Ward, Lexie Tompkins, Angie Fontain and Michaela. Puppeteer is Anton Rayn. Costumes were designed by Lisa Renee Jordan. Set design was by Jennifer Varbalow.
Read our review in The
New York Times.