Jamaican-born actor and playwright David Heron will return to the New York stage in Shakespeare's epic tragedy Antony and Cleopatra, as part of the prestigious 2013 Harlem Shakespeare Festival.
The limited run of the timeless classic about love, war and ambition will take place outdoors at the magnificent 400-seat Riverside Amphitheater, Riverbank State Park, from Wednesday, August 28, through to Sunday, September 1.
All performances begin at 7 p.m., and are free to the public.
Heron will reprise the role of Roman politician Octavius Caesar, who he created in the Off Broadway production of the play, showcased in 2011. Octavius Caesar is the nephew of Julius Caesar, who challenges the forces of Shakespeare's historical lovers, eventually conquering them en route to becoming the first Emperor of Rome.
Heron joins an acclaimed cast of some of New York's most respected Shakespearean actors including Debra Ann Byrd as Cleopatra, Christopher Sutton as Antony, Renauld White as Agrippa, and Natasha Yannacanedo as Charmian.
Award-winning director Petronia Paley will again helm the large scale production, as she did in 2011.
For Heron, this Shakespeare in The Park production - his first - signals yet another milestone in a stellar career that has taken him all across the United States and the United Kingdom, in productions ranging from Shakespeare (Othello, The Tempest, Hamlet) to the classics (Medea, Robinson Crusoe) to his own works, including Love and Marriage and New York City, which played Off Broadway several years ago.
"I've never done Shakespeare in the Park - or outdoors for that matter, so this is yet another challenge for me artistically that is both exciting and intimidating. The role of Caesar is one of my all-time favourites, as he is extremely complex - driven and ambitious yet torn between his lust for power and his genuine love for Marc Antony. The passion and the politics of this work make the play one of Shakespeare's most interesting to me, and in this setting, it will be a special event indeed."
The Riverside Amphitheater is located on the banks of the world-famous Hudson River.
Audiences attending Antony and Cleopatra will witness the conflict between Egypt and Rome unfolding against the shimmering backdrop of the river beyond, as the sun sets each evening.
The Riverside Amphitheater is located at Riverbank State Park, 679 Riverside Drive between 144th and 145th Streets.
The 2013 Harlem Shakespeare Festival is presented by Take Wing and Soar Productions in collaboration with Voza Rivers/New Heritage Theatre Group and East Harlem.