Cymbeline

Cymbeline was directed by J.C. Luxton and performed in March of 2004 in the RIHA building.

Jackie Wynes
The Queen, second wife to the King
An Anonymous Messenger
An Anonymous Roman Captain
An Anonymous British Captain

Aaron E. Sullivan
Posthumus Leonatus, a gentleman ward of the King
Prince Cloten, son to the Queen by a former husband

TeAnna Mirfield
Princess Innogen, daughter to the King

Beau Smith
Pisanio, servant to Posthumus

Bryan Woods
Cymbeline, King of Britain
An Anonymous Frenchman residing in Italy

Denise Yoder
An Anonymous Lord of Britain
An Anonymous Spaniard residing in Italy
Cadwalla, youngest daughter to Morgana

Cait Woolley
An Anonymous Lord of Britain
An Anonymous Dutchman residing in Italy
Polydora, eldest daughter to Morgana

Karl Bodenbender
Helen, a lady-in-waiting attending Princess Innogen
Caius Lucius, Roman ambassador and general

Tracy Skaggs
Iachimo, an Italian gentleman

Julie Jurgens
 Philario, an old Italian gentleman
An Anonymous Musician
Morgana, an old woman of the Welsh mountains

Kristin Skaggs
An Anonymous Roman Soldier
An Anonymous British Soldier

Anthony Anderson
 An Anonymous Roman Soldier
An Anonymous British Soldier

Pamela Crouch-Scott
An Anonymous Roman Soldier
An Anonymous British Soldier

And Introducing

Benjamin Sharpe

AS

Cornelius, a doctor

Quad City Times review of Cymbeline

Prenzie Players’ ‘Cymbeline’ breaks Shakespeare mold

QUAD-CITY TIMES By Erin Siebers | Friday, March 26, 2004

The room is very unremarkable. There are no pictures to adorn the walls and no curtains to set the stage apart. The chairs are arranged is some semblance of rows, yet structure is lacking in all forms.

It doesn’t seem that a manuscript of one of the most well-known playwrights could be produced in this humble room. Yet the Prenzie Players have done just that.

This austere place is where old plays are being produced with a new twist, and theater is finding its roots in the literature of old. One time a group of people were chatting and decided that the Quad-Cities needed Shakespeare during the winter.

Thus the Prenzie Players were formed.

Their latest play is a lesser-known work of Shakespeare, “Cymbeline” a tragicomedy about life, and what happens when things go wrong. It is a story of love, war, and jealousy, with politics thrown in for good measure.

The play tells the story of a British princess, hopelessly in love with a man who her father cares nothing for. Her lover is banished to Rome where he meets a cocky Italian gentleman and wagers his love. While he is away the princess is pursued by her spoiled, vengeful stepbrother. Throw in a power-seeking stepmother, a mountain woman and her two daughters, a loyal servant, and two armies and the play is a real treat.

The Prenzie Players have done an excellent job of making the text come alive, something valuable to Shakespeare’s plays. At the time Shakespeare was writing plays were meant to be heard and not seen, and the same could be said of this production. The costumes are quite modern, simple, and unadorned. The challenge of production was getting the story across because that was more important than the actions on the stage.

The archaic language of the 15th century is a trying test and sometimes difficult for modern audiences to understand. Add this to maximum audience exposure and the difficulties are clearly seen. Yet the Prenzie Players are undaunted, when asked if it was more difficult than a traditional setting, they instead responded that it was “more fun.”

With the breakdown of the fourth wall and the assault on the audience’s space, the actors bring a whole new intensity to the stage. As the ill-fated princess, TeAnna Mirfield gave a riveting performance of a young woman in love who doesn’t quite know what to do when troubles arise.

Several of the actors portray many parts. Aaron E. Sullivan plays a particularly compelling part as Posthumus Leonatus, the banished lover, while at the same time playing double-duty as the crown-seeking stepbrother. Tracy Skaggs gives Iachimo, the seducing Italian gentleman, an audacity and malevolence that the audience can’t help but admire. The cast is also to be commended for their work as an ensemble.

With minimum visuals and much connection with the audience, Cymbeline proves itself as part of the mission of the Prenzie Players, “to produce guerilla-style Shakespeare where the concentration is on the story and things are only taken from the environment when they are needed.”

Don’t go with an expectation to see men in tights swashbuckling for king and country, instead be ready for a story of love and deception, things not so very far away from modern life.