The College of Visual and Performing Arts’ Department of Drama presents William Shakespeare’s fantastical romance “Cymbeline” in a modern verse translation by contemporary playwright Andrea Thome. The production, directed by Christine Albright-Tufts, performs March 26 to April 3 in the Storch Theater at the Syracuse Stage/Syracuse University Drama Complex, 820 E. Genesee St. Tickets are on sale now in person at the Syracuse Stage Box Office, by phone at 315-443-3275 and online at www.syracusestage.org/su-drama.php.
“Cymbeline” is among a group of five plays called Romances that were written toward the end of Shakespeare’s career. These plays, including “The Tempest,” “The Winter’s Tale,” “Pericles, Prince of Tyre” and “The Two Noble Kinsmen,” blend elements of history, tragedy, comedy and fantasy. “Cymbeline” tells the story of an ancient British king and his daughter, Imogen, who marries against her father’s will. This secret marriage triggers much of the action, which includes villainous slander, homicidal jealousy, cross-gender disguise and fantastical elements such as a deathlike trance and the appearance of Jupiter in a vision.
Director Albright-Tufts provided this description: In a world defined by an oppressive patriarchy, what power does a daughter have to thrive and follow her dreams? Trapped in a kingdom, with a father who treats her like property, a wicked stepmother out to kill her and a husband who’s fallen prey to the misogynist machinations of a deplorable villain, what is Princess Imogen to do? In the footsteps of Shakespearean heroines before her, she swaps the skirt for pants and ventures into the unknown on a perilous journey of self-discovery. In this fantastical work from the zenith of Shakespeare’s talent, the improbable becomes probable as kind strangers, dastardly bad guys, battles, gods and long-lost family pave the wild road to forgiveness and happily ever after.
This modern translation of “Cymbeline” was originally commissioned by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and is now part of the Play On! Shakespeare project. The company’s mission is to connect contemporary playwrights with the classical texts to enhance audience understanding of Shakespeare. With this production, the Syracuse University Department of Drama becomes one of a growing number of universities and theaters that are partnering with Play On! Shakespeare to produce modern English translations of Shakespeare’s plays.
Thome is a Chilean and Costa Rican playwright from Madison, Wisonsin. She studied at Harvard University in literature and drama and history in the Americas, then attended New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts to earn an M.A. in dramatic writing. Thome is known in the United States and Latin America for her plays and translations. She spent five years at Red River Theater in San Francisco, where she co-created 22 pieces. Some of her successful works include “Worm Girl,” “Dream Acts,” “Pinkolandia” and “Neva.” Her plays have been performed at venues all over the United States, and she is founder and co-director of the Fulana media project.
Covid-19 Safety Guidelines
Masks are required at all times by everyone regardless of vaccination status, except while eating or drinking in designated areas. Food and drink will not be permitted in the auditorium.