My vision for this piece was to take the misogynoir (race-based misogyny) inherent in Shakespeare's text and use it as a base to explore contemporary representations of black womanhood in America, as well as a critique of 'white feminism'. The adaptation was done by myself, a white feminist and director, with Chanté Adams, a black feminist and performer of Cleopatra. The tension inherent in this collaboration was an important part of the piece itself. Live camera was used to draw attention to the construction of image and the question of 'the gaze'. Also included in the piece were documentary interviews with female performers of color. The piece was performed in Studio 201, the School of Drama's off-campus warehouse space.

Presented 17-20 February 2016, Studio 201, Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama, Pittsburgh, USA 

A gripping re-imagining of the ancient tale of the powerful Roman general and enchanting Egyptian queen’s doomed love affair and placed it firmly within the racial tensions of present-day America
— The Tartan

COLLABORATORS

  • Adaptors: Eleanor Bishop with Chanté Adams
  • Director: Eleanor Bishop
  • Performers: Chanté Adams, Henry Ayres-Brown, Joe Essig, Arica Jackson, Wesley T. Jones, Samuel McInerney, Kevin Ramser, Cara Ronzetti
  • Scenic & Costume Design: Lucy Pope
  • Media Design: Kevan Loney
  • Sound Design: Nicholas Erikson
  • Lighting Design: Andrew Hunt
  • Stage Manger: Abby Sorese
  • Dramaturg: Vanessa Frank
  • Production Photography: Louis Stein & Keith Truax