THE DRILLING COMPANY'S SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARKING LOT RETURNS WITH
"TWO NOBLE KINSMEN" JULY 15-30
Three-week run will play two weeks on the Lower East Side
and one week in Bryant Park.
WHERE AND WHEN:
PARKING LOT OF THE CLEMENTE, 107 Suffolk Street:
Thursday through Saturday, July 15, 16, 17 and Wednesday through Friday, July 28, 29, 30 at 7:00 PM
Subways: F to Delancey Street, M to Essex Street.
BRYANT PARK, 6th Avenue at 42nd Street, in midtown Manhattan:
Monday through Wednesday, July 19, 20, 21 at 7:30 PM
Subways: B, D, F, or M to 42nd St./Bryant Park; 7 to 5th Ave.
Running time: 2 hours (without intermission)
Both productions are FREE, donations gratefully accepted.
Presented by The Drilling Company and co-presented by The Clemente and Bryant Park Corporation.
Info: www.shakespeareintheparkinglot.com and www.drillingcompany.org
Critics are invited on or after July 16 (opening date)
NEW YORK, July 19 – The Drilling Company will return with Shakespeare in the Parking Lot July 15 to 30, offering a portable three-week run of "Two Noble Kinsmen," a rarely-produced curiosity of the Shakespearean canon. Performances will begin July 15, 16, 17 (at 7:00 PM) in the parking Lot of The Clemente, 107 Suffolk Street; move July 19, 20, 21 (at 7:30 PM) to Bryant Park, and return July 28 29, 30 (at 7:00 PM) to The Clemente. Director Hamilton Clancy is re-envisioning the story of Thebes and Athens into a modern spy caper complete with two Russian spies, a corporate magnate and an Interpol spycatcher.
"The Two Noble Kinsmen" is a play by John Fletcher and William Shakespeare that was reprinted in a second folio edition of Beaumont and Fletcher's plays in 1679. Its story is taken from "The Knight's Tale" by Chaucer. It is generally accepted to be The Bard's final play before he retired to Stratford-Upon-Avon and died three years later--a collaboration of an older playwright with one whose career had only begun. The play is a tragicomedy in the manner of Fletcher. It was most famously adapted to the restoration stage by Sir William Davenant as "The Rivals" in 1664. (See plot summary below.)
Shakespeare in the Parking Lot frequently adapts its productions to modern dress and in this instance, it was resolved by Director Hamilton Clancy to couch the play's circumstances in the modern world so as to reflect the tensions of our time. On the heels of the Biden-Putin Summit, the play is being re-envisioned as modern espionage story.
Director Hamilton Clancy is Artistic Director of The Drilling Company and the most frequent director of Shakespeare in the Parking Lot, for whom he has staged 18 Shakespeare productions to-date. He has also acted there as Henry V, Julius Caesar, Petruchio and Benedick, among others. He played Tor, a Norwegian mobster, in the Drilling Company's long-running comedy, "The Norwegians" and has appeared in TV shows including "Orange is the New Black" (SAG Award Best Ensemble Seasons 2&3), "One Dollar," "Blue Bloods," "Bull," "Billions," "Mindhunter" and "Gotham."
The ensemble is led by long time Drilling Company stalwarts Brad Frost as Palemon and John Caliendo as Arsite with Jane Bradley in the show-stealing part of the Jailer's Daughter. The ensemble also includes Liz Livingston, Lucas Rafael, Mary Linehan, Jaqwan Turner and Remy.S. Assistant Director is Karla Hendrick. Costume design is by Sofia Piccolo. Set design is by Jennifer Varbalow.
This production is presented by The Drilling Company and co-presented by The Clemente and Bryant Park Corporation.
Admission is free. At The Clemente, chairs are provided on a first come, first served basis and audience members are welcome to bring their own. At Bryant Park, free chairs are plentiful. As of this writing, The Clemente is still requiring masks, Bryant Park does not.
Rainout notices will be posted on www.shakespeareintheparkinglot.com and www.drillingcompany.org.
The Drilling Company's Shakespeare in the Parking Lot has been a Lower East Side neighborhood institution for over 25 years. Its concept--presenting Shakespeare plays with a "poor theater" aesthetic in a working parking lot--is now widely imitated around the US and around the world, with productions as far away as New Zealand. Last summer, the attraction was suspended due to the Covid-19 lockdown.
Bryant Park Corporation (BPC), a private not-for-profit company, was founded in 1980 to renovate, finance and operate Bryant Park, one of the busiest public spaces in the world, without government or philanthropic funding. In addition to providing security and sanitation services, and tending the lawn and seasonal gardens, BPC creates amenities and activities in Bryant Park for over 6 million visitors each year. BPC's website, www.bryantpark.org, has more detailed information about Bryant Park Presents as well as the plethora of other upcoming free activities, performances, and programs that occur in the park. Visitors to Bryant Park are subject to the rules of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.
For info on upcoming Drilling Company productions call 212-873-9050 or visit www.drillingcompany.org. For info on Bryant Park events only, see: www.bryantpark.org, @bryantparknyc and #bryantpark.
SUMMARY OF "TWO NOBLE KINSMEN"
In "Two Noble Kinsmen," distinguished comrades Palamon and Arcite, cousins and warrior nephews of King Creon of Thebes, are captured by the Athenians after Creon's downfall. The victor, Duke Theseus of Athens, has seen them in battle "like to a pair of lions smear'd with prey, make lanes in troops aghast." In admiration of their valor, he orders the best medical care for them. Though wounded, they thrive in prison, sustained by the power of their friendship, until from their prison window, they see the Amazonian Princess Emilia and both fall passionately in love with her. Their inviolable closeness turns to rivalry. Arcite is first to be released from prison; by his athletic prowess, he wins notice by Emilia and is appointed her attendant. Next, unknown to both knights, the Jailer's Daughter has fallen in love with Palamon and arranges his release from prison. The two knights are reunited but unable to resolve who should have Emilia, so they resort to settle the matter by a duel in armor. Their fight is interrupted when it is accidentally discovered by Theseus' hunting party and the Duke proclaims their impasse to be settled by a public tournament in the lists.
The Jailer's Daughter, insane in her love for Palamon, can only be cured by the advice of a doctor who instructs her old suitor to take the name of Palamon, sing the songs that Palamon sang to her in prison, eat and drink with her and encourage friends to talk to her of Palamon. "It is a falsehood she is in, which is with falsehoods to be combated." The suitor's devotion slowly wins her over.
Before meeting in the tournament, Arcite prays to Mars that he will prevail, Palamon prays to Venus for a sign of her pleasure and Emilia prays to Diana that she be wed to the one who loves her best and has the truest title to her. Each prayer is granted: Arcite wins the contest but is later thrown from his horse and dies. With his last breath, he confers the matchless Emilia upon his friend.
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Photos are available at: https://photos.app.goo.gl/EsAHTiSQ2yHAsmCH8
Preview July 15, critics are invited on or after July 16 (opening date).