Deborah Staples as Cleopatra and Christopher Prentice as Alexas.

‘Antony & Cleopatra’ Rounds Out Illinois Shakes Lineup

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Deborah Staples as Cleopatra and Christopher Prentice as Alexas.
Deborah Staples as Cleopatra and Christopher Prentice as Alexas in Antony and Cleopatra at Illinois Shakespeare Festival. (Photo: Pete Guither)

The Illinois Shakespeare Festival completes its 37th season lineup with Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra, which opened July 13.

According to press notes: “Shakespeare’s epic portrayal of Mark Antony’s intoxication with the stunning Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt. Drunk with passion, the Roman war hero and leader neglects his duties back home, ignores prophecies, and enrages his former allies by choosing Egypt and its beautiful ruler while the Roman Empire hangs in the balance. When Octavius Caesar turns on Antony, is his attack on Egypt enough to rouse the smitten soldier into action?”

Directed by Kevin Rich, the production stars Deborah Staples and Todd Denning as the central lovers. It also features Matt Daniels as Enobarbus, Fredric Stone as Lepidus, Thomas Anthony Quinn as the Soothsayer and Clown, Norman Moses as Dolabella, Christopher Prentice as Alexas, Jack Dwyer as Octavius Caesar, Bethany Hart as Charmian, Faith Servant as Iras, Michael Pine as Pompey, Wigasi Brant as Scarus, Phillip Ray Guevara as Thidias, Timuchin Aker as Agrippa, Joey Banks as Dercetas, Robert Michael Johnson as Canidius, Ron Román as Eros, Colin Trevino-Odell as Menas, Colin Lawrence as Varrius, and Natalie Blackman as Octavia.

Rounding out the ensemble as the Chorus are Ashley Donahue, Garret Douglas, Andrew Piechota, Alejandro Raya, Ian Scarlato, Lauren Sheffey, and Larissa Strong.

The creative team includes costumer Sandy Childers, scenic designer Kristin Ellert, lighting designer Sarah EC Maines, composer Shannon Marie O’Neill, and fight and dance choreographer Jean Kerr. Jayson T. Waddell is the stage manager.

Antony and Cleopatra runs through Aug. 9 in rep with Much Ado About Nothing and Elizabeth Rex.