ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA: IN SPACE!

ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA IN SPACE! An original radio play by Alexander Bulova

How To Watch

November 13, 2020 at 7pm on YouTube Live

ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA: IN SPACE!

  • Adapted and directed by Alexander Bulova
  • Based on a title by Andrew Brockmeyer and Ryan Vaughn
  • Stage managed by Andi Nealon
  • Foley design by Sam Terry

ABOUT THE PLAY

THE CAST

Actor 1: Casey Breneman
Antony/Proculeius

Actor 2: Emily Dalton
Cleopatra/Agrippa/Lepidus

Actor 3: Julia Robertson
Octavius/Alexas/Ventidius/First Soldier/Eros/Canidius/Clown

Actor 4: Leena Miller
Enobarbus/Soothsayer/Messenger/Silius/Mecaenas/Iras/Dercetas/Gallus/Soldier

Actor 5: Elizabeth Rose
Announcer/Charmian/Pompey/Octavia/Scarus/Second Soldier/Diomedes

Stu the Sound Guy: Sam Terry

SOME CONTEXT

(Courtesy of William & Mary’s Shakespeare in the Dark)

In the first Roman triumvirate (three-man rule), Julius Caesar, Pompey the Great, and Crassus
ruled Rome together. While Crassus and Caesar were close, Pompey envied Caesarʼs military
success. With the death of Crassus in 53 BCE at the Battle of Carrhae, the triumvirate dissolved,
and bitter civil war broke out between Caesar and Pompey.

Pompey flees to Egypt, where Ptolemy XIII executes him to win Caesarʼs favor. Horrified by
this act of violence, Caesar helps instate Cleopatra, his lover, as Egyptʼs sole ruler. After
Caesarʼs assassination, Cleopatra tries to instate their son, Caesarion, as Caesarʼs heir, but is
thwarted by Octavius Caesar, Julius Caesarʼs nephew and adopted son. Civil war breaks out once
more.

After the fall of the Roman Republic, a new triumvirate emerges – Mark Antony, Octavius
Caesar, and Marcus Lepidus. Octavius becomes the first emperor of Rome, and Antony makes a
new friend in Egypt- Cleopatra. Antonyʼs brother, Lucius Antonius, and Antonyʼs wife, Fulvia,
raise an eight-legion army against the unpopular policies of Octavius. Tensions between the new
triumvirate rise…

PLACES

  • Venus – Egypt
  • Mars – Rome
  • Mercury – Greece
  • Phobos – Sicily

THE PLOT

(Courtesy of William & Mary’s Shakespeare in the Dark)

Act I: Mark Antony, a member of the powerful Interplanetary Martian triumvirate, luxuriates on
Venus with its queen, Cleopatra. A messenger informs Antony of his wife Fulviaʼs death.
Begrudgingly, Antony returns to Mars to make amends with Octavius (whom his wife warred
against) and address the rise of Pompey (son of Pompey the Great), who threatens war against
Mars from the Asteroid Belt.

Act II: On Mars, the triumvirate discusses the mutiny of Antonyʼs brother and his late wife
against Octavius. Antony insists he had no part, and Agrippa suggests reconciling the two men
with marriage – Antony will marry Octaviusʼs sister Octavia. Both men agree; Antony marries
her, though he suspects he will soon return to Venus. Meanwhile, Cleopatra receives news of
Antonyʼs marriage and violently berates the messenger. The triumvirate meets with Pompey
before the battle and discuss their terms.

Act III: After a successful battle against Pompey, Antony and Octavia leave for Mercury.
Tension among the triumvirate increases when Octavius deposes Lepidus. Antony sends Octavia
to Mars to make amends, while he himself returns to Venus. When Octavius realizes that Antony
has abandoned his sister, war is confirmed. During Octavius and Antonyʼs first battle, several of
Cleopatra’s ships desert the battle, resulting in a victory for Octavius. Although Antony is deeply
ashamed of this loss, he quickly reconciles with Cleopatra and decides to fight in face-to-face
combat. Enobarbus considers desertion.

Act IV: As Octavius and Antony prepare for their imminent battle, Antony learns that Enobarbus
has deserted him for Mars. In the Martian camp, Enobarbus is beset with guilt and regret. As
Antonyʼs forces enjoy a brief victory over Octavius, Enobarbus kills himself. Antony then
prepares for his next battle, only to see his forces surrender to Octavius. In a rage, he berates
Cleopatra, who decides to fake her death. Upon hearing this, Antony mortally wounds himself.
He dies in Cleopatraʼs arms, leaving the fate of Venus in jeopardy.

Act V: Informed of Antonyʼs death, Octavius sends Proculeius to the defeated Cleopatra.
Though assured of no harm, she would rather die than be paraded around as a captive of war.
Left alone with her women, Cleopatra obtains the venomous worm of Nilus. She dons her royal
attire, and she and her women commit suicide. Octavius, Proculeius, and guards rush in to find
their bodies. Octavius declares that Antony and Cleopatra shall be buried together.