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
and one week in Bryant Park.
|L-R: Brad Frost (as Palemon) and John Caliendo
(as Arsite). Photo by Hamilton Clancy.
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.
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.
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.)
in the Parking Lot frequently adapts its productions to modern
dress and in this instance, it was resolved by Director Hamilton
Clancy and Assistant Director Karla Hendrick 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.
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."
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 Souchon. Assistant Director is Karla Hendrick.
Costume design is by Sofia Piccolo. Set design is by Jennifer
L-R: Jane Bradley,
Brad Frost, Liz Livington, John Caliendo, Bob Arcaro and
Elowyn Castle. Photo by Jonathan Slaff.
production is presented by The Drilling Company and co-presented
by The Clemente and Bryant Park Corporation.
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.
notices will be posted on www.shakespeareintheparkinglot.com
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
DRILLING COMPANY'S FREE SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARKING LOT
RETURNED TO LIVE THEATER WITH A CELEBRATION OF THE BARD'S 457TH
APRIL 23 & 24, 2021 IN THE PARKING LOT OF THE CLEMENTE,
107 SUFFOLK STREET.
Two Nights of Scenes, Songs, Sonnets and Soliloquies.
April 23 and 24, 2021 from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Parking Lot of The Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural &
Educational Center, 107 Suffolk Street.
Presented by The Drilling Company
FREE but limited to 50 participants
Masks and temperature checks required; social distancing observed.
Shakespeare turned 457 on Friday, April 23, 2021. So on April
23 and 24, from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM, members of The Drilling
Company's Shakespeare in the Parking Lot Company mounted "Happy
Birthday Shakespeare-457" in the parking lot of The Clemente
Soto Vélez Cultural & Educational Center, 107 Suffolk
Street. An energetic, one-hour collection of outdoor performances
was offered, all free to the public, all live and limited to
50 audience members. It was the first free Shakespeare to be
offered in NYC in the year since the quarantine.
by Jane Bradley and Kathleen Simmonds, core players of the company
performed great speeches, scenes, sonnets and songs from the
Clancy, Artistic Director of The Drilling Company, home of Shakespeare
in the Parking Lot, writes, “It’s essential to get
our theater professionals back to work and to bring live theater
safely back to the City. Who better to lead the way than William
and temperature checks were required and social distancing was
observed. Participation was free but only 50 patrons were allowed
per night. Admission was on a first-come-first-served basis
and registrations were strongly recommended.
SEE THE LINEUP OF PERFORMANCES (WHO PLAYED WHAT), DOWNLOAD
SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARKING LOT
Shakespeare in the Parking Lot (SITPL) is now in its 26th season
(it would be the 27th, but the 2020 season was cancelled due
to the Covid-19 shutdown). The program was begun in 1995 by
Expanded Arts under the artistic direction of Jennifer Spahr.
When Ms. Spahr retired in 2000, an organization known as Ludlow
Ten was formed under the direction of Leonard McKenzie. The
Drilling Company began co-producing SITPL with Ludlow Ten in
2001. After Mr. McKenzie's retirement in 2005, The Drilling
Company was asked to continue the great tradition of Shakespeare
in the Parking Lot. The concept of free Shakespeare in a parking
lot, presented with a "poor theater" aesthetic, is
now widely imitated around the US and around the world, with
productions as far away as New Zealand.
2014, having lost its Parking Lot when the Seward Park Urban
Renewal Area gave way to a giant mixed-used development, The
Drilling Company sought a new location in the Lower East Side
to continue the spunky Lower East Side tradition. After a nine-month
search, the new space adjacent to The Clemente, on Norfolk Street
between Delancey and Rivington Streets, was arranged. Like the
previous location, it is a working parking lot and has the urban,
gritty atmosphere that has made these productions memorable
through the years. It is just three blocks from the municipal
parking lot where the annual Free Shakespeare festival originated.
THE DRILLING COMPANY
Beside producing Shakespeare, The
Drilling Company, led by Artistic Director Hamilton Clancy,
is an incubator of new American plays. It produced new works
in an intimate theater space at 236 West 78th Street, formerly
78th Street Theater Lab, from 1999 to 2014 and is presently
seeking new digs for this aspect of its work. Last season, it
presented "Gabriel: A Polemic" at North of History,
a "popup" gallery and performance space located at
445 Columbus Ave. (between 81st and 82nd Street), near its 15-year
home. The company is also the exclusive producer of Shakespeare
plays for Bryant Park Presents Shakespeare.
Seats are available on a first come first served basis, with
audience members often arriving early to secure a place. Audience
members are welcome to bring their own chairs. Once seats are
gone, blankets are spread out. No one has ever been turned away
and there's never a wait for tickets.