Franchelle Stewart Dom, winner of the 1987 Helen Hayes Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance as Paulina in Michael Kahn's production of The Winter's Tale , returns from working abroad to rehearse the role she has always wanted to play, Shakespeare's unparalleled feminine creation, Cleopatra. In last season's spectacularly successful Macbeth, David Richards of The Washington Post described her Lady Macbeth as "animated by a primitive Attic passion", Hap Erstein of The Washington Times declared her "awe-inspiring", and Louise Sweeney of The Christian Science Monitor proclaimed her portrayal "spinetingling".
Following her performance as Lady Macbeth, Ms. Dom traveled to Turkey and Spain to cover the conquests of Constantinople and Granada. Known to medieval television audiences as Siboletto, an intrepid broadcast journalist from the ancient African city of Zimbabwe, she reports from the field for "Timeline", a PBS series produced by an international consortium of networks including Maryland Public Broadcasting System, KRLU-Austin and The Newscast Company of Texas, Turkish Radio and Television, Television Espafiola, and Holmes Associates and Molinare/Visions of Great Britain.
The program dramatizes major events of the Middle Ages in a format based on "Nightline". A Ted Koppel-esque anchorperson communicates via satellite with reporters as they capture "live" footage and on-camera interviews in the midst of invading Mongol hordes and agonized victims of the Black Death. Epic action sequences and authentic historical detail will be combined with the excitement of a late-breaking news story. Six half-hour programs will air early in 1989 on PBS stations.
Ms. Dorn's previous experience as a broadcast journalist with Maryland Public Broadcasting includes hosting her own TV show called "Working Women". On her second journey abroad to film the Spanish sequences for "Timeline", she was accompanied by her daughters Kirsten and Amani. The Shakespeare Theatre welcomes her home to its stage for her muchanticipated performance as Cleopatra.