The strong-willed daughter of a king plots her own destiny under the Theater Tent:
Princess Imogen’s stepmother wants to kill her. Her father, King Cymbeline, isn’t coming to the rescue. Meanwhile, Imogen’s banished love, Posthumus, is convinced she’s cheating on him. What’s a lion-hearted heroine to do? Swap the skirts for pants and escape into the magical wilds of ancient Britain disguised as a boy! In this fantastical work from the zenith of Shakespeare’s talent, the improbable becomes probable as kind strangers, dastardly villains, ghosts, gods, and long-lost princes pave the high road to Happily Ever After.
Explore the Story
Cymbeline, King of a beleaguered Britain, mourns the loss of his two sons who were stolen at birth. He has married a new, wicked Queen, and his stepson and now-heir, Cloten, is set to marry his daughter, Imogen. Instead, Imogen secretly marries her beloved Posthumus, a commoner.
Cymbeline banishes Posthumus from court. Before leaving, Posthumus gives Imogen a bracelet to remind her of his love for her. While exiled, Posthumus lays a wager on Imogen’s chastity with his villainous friend Iachimo, who is determined to prove that she will be unfaithful.
Imogen is not seduced by his charms, but while she is sleeping, Iachimo steals the bracelet from her wrist. He presents it to Posthumus and so convinces him that Imogen has been unfaithful. Imogen escapes to Wales, disguised as a boy, to find Posthumus, and is followed by Cloten, who disguises himself as her husband. Confusion escalates before a divine power intervenes and all is revealed…
The New Yorker: “As the two lovers who are not so much star-crossed as manipulated, Alexandra Templer and Stephen Michael Spencer exude youthful character and passion. Spencer also plays Posthumus’s rival, Cloten, in a bravura comic turn. And Sean McNall brings expert insidiousness to the role of the malevolent-for-no-very-good-reason Iachimo.” – Ken Marks
Cast & Creative
Posthumus’ Mother, Roman Senator Kendall Cafaro (cc)
Queen Tina Chilip*
Helen, Soothsayer Kayla Coleman (cc)
Dutchman, Cornelius Jon Edward Cook (cc)
Posthumus’ Father, Frenchman, British Lord Brandon Dial (cc)
Philario, Caius Lucius Michael Early*
First Lord, Guiderius José Gamo
Cymbeline Stephen Paul Johnson*
Iachimo Sean McNall*
Belarius Kurt Rhoads*
Spaniard, Arviragus Timiki Salinas (cc)
Pisanio Charlie Semine*
Cloten, Posthumus Stephen Michael Spencer*
Imogen Alexandra Templer*
Second Lord, British Captain Ryan Washington (cc)
Voice of Jupiter Nance Williamson*
Director Davis McCallum
Costume Designer Charlotte Palmer Lane
Lighting Designer Oona Curley
Sound Design Nathan A. Roberts and Charles Coes
Music for Shakespeare’s Songs by Raymond Bokhour
Choreographer Tracy Bersley
Fight Choreographer Rod Kinter
Production Stage Manager Roxana Khan*
Props Designer Joshua Yocom
SDCF Observer Anna Strasser
Voice and Speech Coach Alithea Phillips
Casting Stephanie Klapper Casting
*Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.
(cc) Member of the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival Conservatory Company
Cymbeline was likely written in 1610, just six years prior to Shakespeare’s death. It was originally classified as a tragedy in the First Folio of 1623.
The complex plot of Cymbeline is likely a patchwork of folk and fairytale sources. There was indeed a King Cunobeline, Celtic King of the Britons, who lived from roughly AD 10 to 42 and ruled over an exceptionally prosperous kingdom. However, there’s little resemblance between the historical Cunobeline (who maintained a warm relationship to the Romans) and how Cymbeline is imagined in Shakespeare’s play.
This pamphlet was created by Caitlyn Halvorsen, 2019 Education Intern
Q & A
Can I read the play before I arrive?
You can read the play in its entirety here!
Is this show appropriate for my children?
Cymbeline features many elements of the fairytales we know and love today — a wicked stepmother, long-lost siblings, disguises, adventure, potions — but also includes references to infidelity, violence, rape, and murder. Although every family’s tolerance for grown-up themes is different, we believe this production is appropriate for school-aged children. Little ones under 5 should stay home.
How can I learn more about the play?
What’s the style of the show?
Productions under the Theater Tent usually incorporate contemporary music and dress because we believe creating pathways for audiences to make personal connections to the text is vital. Our Cymbeline takes place in an eclectic and whimsical contemporary world, drawing on visual references as disparate as Fleetwood Mac, TV’s “Deadwood” and “Peaky Blinders,” and the USC Marching Band. It’s a wild mash-up!
How long is the show?
This production, including a 15-minute intermission, runs approximately 2 hours, 45 minutes (7:30pm – 10:15pm).
Fortune brings in some boats that are not steer'd.Pisanio, CYMBELINE Act 4, Scene III