Antony and Cleopatra

Antony is a brilliant military strategist, until he meets Cleopatra.  Then he has all the martial cunning of a March hare.  Can he get his head in the game for the final battle with Octavian, or will Cleopatra prove to be too much of a distraction?

Running time: approximately 7 minutes

Cast size: 4 Males, 2 Females

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CHARACTERS

ANTONY (M) a formerly wily and astute soldier and politician, until his love of Cleopatra knocks several dozen IQ points out of him. Part of the triumvirate.

CLEOPATRA (F) sultry and self-absorbed, she’s an empire-wrecker.

OCTAVIUS (M) conniving and power hungry. Part of the triumvirate.

LEPIDUS (M) a wimpy peacemaker. Part of the triumvirate.

SOOTHSAYER (F) predicts Antony’s downfall.

ENOBARBUS (M) a loyal officer to Antony.

SAMPLE PAGES:

(Lights up. Enter SOOTHSAYER.)

SOOTHSAYER: I am the Soothsayer; I see the future.  And I will predict that you will soon see a play about Antony and Cleopatra (ENOBARBUS and ANTONY enter from opposite sides of the stage.)  Told you.  But I thought Cleopatra was more of a looker.  (ENOBARBUS glares at SOOTHSAYER. SOOTHSAYER smiles weakly.) Sorry. (Exits.)

ENOBARBUS:  Hail, Antony.

ANTONY:  Enobarbus.  What’s the word?

ENOBARBUS:  It appears that Octavius is plotting to dissolve the triumvirate and rule the empire alone.

ANTONY:  I suspected as much.  We cannot strike openly just yet.  That is exactly what Octavius wants.  His opening gambit is to lure us to commit our forces in a politically- divisive move that would allow him to manipulate the current economic depression in Sicily to . . . (CLEOPATRA enters, to va-va-va-voom drum beats.  ANTONY’s jaw drops.) to . . .

ENOBARBUS:  Antony?  (ANTONY continues to stare at CLEOPATRA.)  Antony?

ANTONY:  Wow.  So that’s how you walk like an Egyptian.

ENOBARBUS:  Antony?

ANTONY:  (Continues to stare at CLEOPATRA) What?

ENOBARBUS:  You were explaining your strategy?

ANTONY:  Strategy, right.  I’ll use one of my pick-up lines.

ENOBARBUS:  To defeat Octavius?

ANTONY:  Octavius who?  You wait here and watch me at work.  Take notes.  (Saunters over to CLEOPATRA.)  Hi.

CLEOPATRA:  Hello.

ANTONY:  (Laughs brainlessly and then gives the thumbs up to ENOBARBUS.)  I’m Antony.  I rule one third of the Roman Empire.  I’m an Aquarius.

CLEOPATRA:  I’m Cleopatra.  I rule all of the Egyptian Empire.  I’m a tyrant.

ANTONY:  Tyrant, huh.  Well, you are the tyrant . . . of my heart.

(ENOBARBUS reacts to the terrible line by hitting his forehead.)

CLEOPATRA:  Ooh, you smooth talker, you.  Marry me and be my co-tyrant.  You would rule 5/6’s of an empire.

ANTONY: Huh?

CLEOPATRA:  It’s simple math.  You see, 1/3 of the Roman Empire plus 1/2 of the Egyptian Empire –

ENOBARBUS:  If I may interrupt.  Antony, you still have to deal with Octavius Caesar.

CLEOPATRA:  Caesar?  Any relation to Julius?

ENOBARBUS: Nephew.  You knew Julius?

CLEOPATRA:  Oh, no, not really.  An older gentleman.  Before my time, really.

(SOOTHSAYER enters.)

ENOBARBUS:  But I heard rumors that you and he –

CLEOPATRA:  Come Antony.  Let me show you my barge.  We’ll take a cruise.

SOOTHSAYER:  Beware the Ides of March!

ENOBARBUS:  Wrong play.

SOOTHSAYER:  Oh.  Beware of Greeks bearing gifts!

ENOBARBUS:  Still wrong play.

SOOTHSAYER:  Oh.  (Beat.) Oh, oh. Here she comes.  Watch out boy, she’ll chew you up.  Oh, oh here she comes.  She’s a man eater.

ENOBARBUS:  That’s appropriate.  Meanwhile, back in Rome— (ALL stop and stare at ENOBARBUS.)  Transition. . . .