Solving problems, asking questions

OK, so yesterday–before I was sidetracked by number crunching in regards to other romantic couples in Shakespeare (but it was fun, wasn’t it? *grin*)–I discussed the hellalong gap in Antony and Cleopatra the play between Antony and Cleopatra the characters’ second and third appearances together in the play. 1249 lines, to be precise, comprising 41% of the length of the play itself (which is more than 2x the line count for the portion they are together in the entirety of the play), AND spanning from Act One, Scene Four to Act Three, Scene Seven, a total of fifteen scenes (and probably the intermission to boot–as the midpoint of the play occurs in the scene immediately before this one).

So what to do?

I mean, our titular lovers appear together in two of the first three scenes of the play and then, just as we’re settling down and getting used to seeing them (as a couple) dominate the stage–poof–nothing, nada, zero, zip, zilch for the remainder of the first half of the play, until folks get a chance for a potty break and to buy some refreshments. That’s a long time to not see together the characters for whom the play is named, a title with the word “AND” in it–which kind of implies their couple-ness.

So what to do?

If I remember the OSF production from last year correctly (and as I’ve mentioned before, I might not be), director Bill Rauch had either character “show up” in the periphery of a scene with the other, just to show how she or he was on his or her mind. That’s one way to do it, I suppose (though I think I remember finding it distracting).

Are there other ways?

Or do we even need to be concerned about this at all (audience expectations be damned)?

Thoughts? Previous productions?

Comment?