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Cellini

Cellini
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: John Patrick Shanley
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service (cover image may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 68
Pub. Date: 2002
ISBN-10: 0822218089
ISBN-13: 9780822218081
Cast Size: 2 female (doubling), 7 male

About the Play:

Cellini is a full-length dramatic comedy adapted for the stage by John Patrick Shanley, from the Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini, translated by J. Addington Symonds. The play examines real-life fiery, Florentine sculptor Benvenuto Cellini, a true Renaissance man with a larger-than-life passion for art and women, and his attempt to make great art while pleasing his benefactor, Pope Clement VII. Cellini explores the struggles of a driven artist who has to conquer his self-destructive tendencies before achieving the creative immortality he so blatantly seeks.

Cellini is set in Renaissance-era Florence and centers on a 16th-century Italian sculptor and man-about-town. The original "Renaissance Man," Benvenuto Cellini was an extremely gifted sculptor – Michelangelo was both friend and rival. Cellini's masterwork is the magnificent bronze statue of the mythological hero Perseus, the creation of which is the play's centrepiece. As Cellini works, he dictates his memoirs, letting us into his life: We learn of his days in Paris and Rome, and of his beloved Florence; we also get a glimpse of the artist's bravado – he snubbed the patronage of Pope Paolo and was promptly thrown in jail; we're given accounts of his love life; and we're also teased about a couple of juicy murders. From the court of the Medicis to the Holy City, Cellini is a wickedly funny, erotic, and inspirational adventure that reveals the soul of a genius in his quest for immortality and leaves the audience touched by Cellini's genius.

Cellini premiered in 1998 at The Powerhouse Theatre Mainstage at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York. It opened Off-Broadway at the Second Stage Theatre in 2001.

Cast: 2 female (doubling), 7 male

What people say:

"Cellini turns bronze into gold. ...Cellini deftly explores the struggles of a driven artist who has to conquer his self-destructive tendencies before achieving the creative immortality he so blatantly seeks." — New York Daily News

"[Shanley] has created a convincing Cellini, not neglecting his dark side, and a trim, vigorous, fast-moving show." — BackStage

"Very entertaining…With brave purpose, the narrative undermines chronology before untangling it…touching and funny…." — New York Times

"The play glorifies the struggle of the artist to expand the limits of his artistry, to risk personal immolation in the pursuit of creative achievement." — Variety

About the Playwright:

John Patrick Shanley is an American playwright, screenwriter, and director. Shanley has written some two dozen off-Broadway plays since the 1970s, but he is best known for Doubt, which won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award. He has also written extensively for TV and film, and his credits include the teleplay for Live from Baghdad and screenplays for Five Corners and Moonstruck, for which he won an Academy Award for original screenplay.

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