Academic journal article Shakespeare Bulletin

Dido, Queen of Carthage

Academic journal article Shakespeare Bulletin

Dido, Queen of Carthage

Article excerpt

Presented by The American Theatre of Actors, at the Outdoor Theatre, New York, New York. July 14-31, 2004. Directed by Jeff S. Dailey. Assistant Director, Jo Kisawa. With Vance Clemente (Jupiter, Ilioneus), James Moyer (Ganymede, Sergestus, A Lord), Rachel Axelrod (Venus, Anna), Mickey Corporon (Hermes, Cloanthus), Owen Panettieri (Aeneus), Katie Vagnino (Ascanius), Craig Smith (Achates), William Greville (Iarbus), Morgan Antoinette Nevans (Dido), Ebony Marie Hatchett (Cupid), and Maureen Chandler (Juno, Nurse).

Dido, Queen of Carthage, Christopher Marlowe's first play--based on Virgil's love story from the Aeneid and accounts of the Trojan war in Homer's Iliad--was presented by The American Theatre of Actors in an outdoor courtyard. Marlowe's sources and some of the play's mythological references (confusing to the uninitiated) were very effectively explained in the playbill, whose cover featured a fifth-century illustration from the "Vatical Vergil," the earliest surviving illustrated copy of the Aeneid.

The audience was seated along parallel benches which flanked the playing space, consisting of a thrust stage and the open floor space between the benches. Actors also appeared at times on banks above and behind the spectators. The set was minimal: the scene and wooden stage platforms were simply painted grey, and actors sometimes sat on plain wooden boxes or on the "throne," consisting of a rectangular box covered with some red velvet.

Costumes were also simple. While it would be difficult to discern an overall theme or vision for this production, the gods generally wore masquerade masks over their eyes and bright-colored clothing, sometimes accented with colorful feathers and wings. Dido also dressed colorfully, while other human characters generally wore sandals and shorts, shirts, baldrics, or tunics in neutral shades or black. Accessories sometimes included swords, belts, bows and arrows, or, in the case of young Ascanius, an unexplained centurion helmet (perhaps symbolizing that he will later be the heir of Rome). A punk Cupid made an interesting statement with her appearance: with buzz-cut hair, heavy Doctor Martens boots and all-black clothing--graced with a delicate pair of white wings with a halter of white hearts and a sparkly green mask before her eyes. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.