TCG Announces Release of Toni Morrison and Rokia Traore's DESDEMONA
Theatre Communications Group (TCG) has announced the availability of Desdemona by Toni Morrison, with lyrics by Rokia Traoré, published by Oberon Books in London. This re-imagining of Shakespeare's Othello includes a foreword by Peter Sellars, who directed the piece at Barbican Concert Hall in London in July.
The story of Desdemona from Shakespeare's Othello is re-imagined by Nobel Prize laureate Toni Morrison, Malian singer and songwriter Rokia Traoré and acclaimed stage director Peter Sellars.
Morrison's response to Sellars's 2009 production of Othello is an intimate dialogue of words and music between Desdemona and her African nurse Barbary. Morrison gives voice and depth to the female characters, letting them speak and sing in the fullness of their hearts.
Desdemona is an extraordinary narrative of words, music and song about Shakespeare's doomed heroine, who speaks from the grave about the traumas of race, class, gender, war - and the transformative power of love. Toni Morrison transports one of the most iconic, central and disturbing treatments of race in Western culture into the new realities and potential outcomes facing a rising generation of the 21st century.
Toni Morrison was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993. She is the author of many novels, including The Bluest Eye, Beloved (made into a major film), Paradise and, most recently, Home. She has also received the National Book Critics Circle Award and a Pulitzer Prize for her fiction. In addition to Desdemona, her theatrical work includes writing the text for Margaret Garner (music composed by Richard Danielpour) and Dreaming Emmett, an unpublished play directed by Gilbert Moses and performed at the Marketplace Capitol Repertory Theater of Albany. Ms. Morrison has written lyrics for Kathleen Battle (commissioned by Carnegie Hall), Sylvia McNair, Jessye Norman and Andre Previn. Ms. Morrison founded the Princeton Atelier which for fifteen years has brought actors, composers, writers and artists of all genres together to work with students on the artists' own projects. Several of her novels including The Bluest Eye have been adapted for the stage.
Rokia Traoré is an award-winning Malian singer songwriter and guitarist. Her first albums, Mouneïssa, Wanita and Bowmboï are now classics. Her latest album, Tchamantché, took the French Victoires de la musique award for the best World Music album of 2009.
For over 50 years, Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for the American theatre, has existed to strengthen, nurture and promote the professional not-for-profit American theatre. TCG's constituency has grown from a handful of groundbreaking theatres to nearly 700 member theatres and affiliate organizations and more than 12,000 individuals nationwide. TCG offers its members networking and knowledge-building opportunities through conferences, events, research and communications; awards grants, approximately $2 million per year, to theatre companies and individual artists; advocates on the federal level; and serves as the U.S. Center of the InterNational Theatre Institute, connecting its constituents to the global theatre community. TCG is North America's largest independent publisher of dramatic literature, with 11 Pulitzer Prizes for Best Play on the TCG booklist. It also publishes the award-winning AMERICAN THEATRE magazine and ARTSEARCH®, the essential source for a career in the arts. In all of its endeavors, TCG seeks to increase the organizational efficiency of its member theatres, cultivate and celebrate the artistic talent and achievements of the field and promote a larger public understanding of, and appreciation for, the theatre. For more information visit www.tcg.org
By Toni Morrison
Lyrics by Rokia Traoré
Published by Oberon Books
Distributed by TCG Books
Paperback 64 pages