Sunday, January 21, 2007

Cleopatra's Women

Good progress today on a number of fronts simultaneously: Christine came in to do more bellydancing movement work with the Egyptian ladies; we figured out how the various Romans reacted to Egypt's culture; we worked through and semi-blocked several early Egypt scenes; and John, Monica and I started to crack the complex, ever-shifting relationship between Antony and Cleopatra.

Monica, Beverly, Leah, Erin, and Jennifer did some great work in building a coherent Cleopatran entity--moving in unison, or building off each other's movements, in a way which really captures the stage. Then the four waiting-women had a conversation about their respective characters. Hopefully, they'll share some of their observations and discoveries on this very blog...?


Shakesperin said...

Our discussion brought up a number of items:
1. We agreed Charmian is the "leader" because she is, clearly, the longest serving to Cleopatra and the most favored.
2. We did not necessarily think that there was a "pecking order" amongst the other waiting maids; we feel as though our characters are in similar positions with similar goals, so it is perhaps more of a sisterhood than a competition.
3. Our characters' devotion to Cleo is most obvious in her death scene, Iras seems to die of "a broken heart". Discussion of this scene also made us wonder about the ending...there is no stage direction that Mardias and Alexas die, but it makes sense that they would too (a logical character path).

Scott Sharplin said...

Yes, the rescripting I've done leaves Alexas and Mardias somewhat out of the loop at the play's end. In the original play, those two characters were male servants of Cleopatra (Mardian was a eunuch), and they did survive to the final curtain.

I'm inclined to do the same in this case, simply in order to conserve stage space (at the end of King Lear, there were five bodies onstage, and it was starting to get hard to walk around!).

Anonymous said...

A bit unrelated but would Snakes on a Plane be appropriate research material???