Married to Cleopatra

images-5I’m studying ancient Rome right now, specifically 45-35 sort of era: Julius Caesar, Cleopatra, Marc Antony, Herod, Octavian and Octavia. Because Chris Britton played Caesar in the Julius Caesar I starred in as Portia, he has been the one galloping through history with his laurel leaves and purple robe in my mind.


I’ll have to stick to a cast of two though: Antony and Cleopatra – so  I can tour it. Marc Antony I’m writing for Aleks Paunovic. Seriously. Can you think of anyone more perfect to march the Roman empire into Parthia? I’ll probably have to get a back up Antony during pilot season! I knew I would do this when I saw him in Danny and the Deep Blue Sea in 2011.


The research is immense. I will digest so much, for years, then use only a small portion of it in the play itself, then, sadly, I’ll forget all of it. This is how my brain eats. If only I remembered even a tenth of what I read, I would be so useful at dinner parties. Or…on second thought…I might be a terrible bore!


I want to tell you how fascinating Cleopatra was and how accomplished she was as a politician once all the diminishing male narrative she’s been confined to all these centuries has been removed. From Octavian to Plutarch to Shakespeare to Shaw, it’s outrageous how she’s been caricaturized as a whiney prostitute with a penchant for pearls. But…you’ll have to wait and see the play. I hope I can get a first draft written by February. Then it will take another year to finish writing and then I’ll pitch it for grants and/or producers and maybe in 2016 it will see the light of day. When I think of it that way, it makes me very tired. Maybe in the same way a bride or bridegroom looks over at their new spouse and trembles, “This person…for the rest of my life…this person…”


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