ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Shakespeare in the Park — a program bringing free productions to Highland Park — returns this July with “Antony & Cleopatra.”

“Antony and Cleopatra” is a romantic tragedy following the love between a soldier and one of the most famous queens in history. Due to some scenes of violence and intimacy, this performance is suggested for viewers 13 and older.

The show runs at Highland Bowl from Saturday, July 16 through Friday, July 29, with performances every night at 8:00 p.m. except Mondays and Tuesdays. The Highland Bowl is located at 1137 South Avenue, in Highland Park.

“Cleopatra and Mark Antony were the biggest celebrities of their era,” Director Carl Del Buono stated in a press release. “Everyone was obsessed with them. You see it in the play as well; a scene doesn’t go by without someone commenting on their lives or actions. They lived their private lives completely in the public eye, and we’re trying to show that in this production.”

The annual free summer production is put on by Rochester Community Players, the oldest community theater in New York State.

Audience members are encouraged to bring blankets, chairs, and inset repellant to outdoor performances. Refreshments will be available for purchase, with proceeds supporting RCP.

RCP has been putting on a free production of Shakespeare every year since 1994, moving their production outdoors to Highland Bowl in 1997. The program is cosponsored by the Monroe County Parks Department.

Full transcript:

Dan: The Rochester community players presenting Antony and Cleopatra July 16 through the 29th at the Highland bowl in Rochester. I’m joined by director Carl del Bono, as well as Cleopatra herself and Erin-Kate Howard to discuss these free shows, part of the Shakespeare in the Park series. For those who don’t know, talk to us about who the Rochester community players are?

Carl Del Buono: Well, the Rochester community players has been around since 1925, and are the oldest continually running theatre here in Rochester, New York, and they’ve done over 600 Productions in that time. Every year they do a free Shakespearean production at the Highland bowl in Highland Park.

Dan: Erin-Kate, can you walk us through the plot and what Antony and Cleopatra is about?

Erin-Kate: As Shakespeare likes to write about, sort of lovers who have a bad end, we’ll say. Antony is part of the triumvirate of Rome and ends up meeting Cleopatra. And that begins the downfall of his position with Roman people. And so it’s the story of how they come together, how they fall apart, how they come back together, and then ultimately, how their relationship ends. It’s a very complex story. And there’s a lot of action, a lot of drama. There’s a lot of funny things. So it’s a wonderful production that I’m very proud to be in.

Dan: Not everyone I think who might be watching this might be familiar with the Highland Bowl in Rochester. So first, can you tell us a little bit about the venue itself? And what’s it like putting on a production there?

Carl Del Buono: Sure, I believe it was it was officially established in 1937. It’s fantastic. It’s completely different than being in an indoor theater. You’re working with the elements. It’s great to be on stage at that venue and just have like a breeze calm or you start hearing like bird song or they’re all these huge Falcons in the park. It’s really beautiful. It’s very – it’s a very dramatic space. And I kept telling the cast how like, you know, it feels one way in the room when you’re rehearsing it and the second you get on that stage and you feel the sheer size of that lets you naturally just everything kind of elevates.