Photo Flash: First Look at Invictus Theatre's Inaugural Show, OTHELLO

Invictus Theatre, a new theater company with a mission to create theatre that promotes a better understanding of the poetry, rhythm, and resonance of language and its ability to express the breadth of the human condition, is pleased to announce its first production, Othello: the Moor of Venice. A bold production of Shakespeare's tragic tale of love, lust, jealousy and ruthless vengeance, the play will open at the Heartland Studio Theatrein Chicago in November.

Check out a first look at photos of the production below!

Othello's themes of racism and sexism continue to resonate, particularly in today's social and political climate. The play chronicles the downfall of Othello, a Moorish general of the Venetian armies who is married to Desdemona, the daughter of a powerful senator. When Othello promotes Michael Cassio over Othello's ensign Iago, the jealous and enraged Iago weaves a tale that sets out to destroy both men, indifferent to the massive collateral damage wrought by such vengeance.

The power of narrative and language is particularly important to Invictus Theatre, given its mission.

"Michael Cunningham and other authors have said that 'we become the stories that we tell ourselves'," said Charles Askenaizer, Invictus artistic director. "That surely happens to Othello and we see that played out today in the divisions in this country. Stories have the ability to leave us spellbound-and lead us in directions we might never otherwise go, often defying all logic and reason."

Directed by Askenaizer with Reginald Vaughn as Othello and Karissa Murrell Myers set to play a female Iago, the production will explore the narratives we tell about race and gender, and ultimately ask us to consider the stunning capacity of humans for both unconditional love and tremendous cruelty.

In addition to Vaughn and Myers, the cast includes Jeff Award-winning actress Callie Johnson as Desdemona, Lynne Baker as Emilia, Joseph Beal as Brabantio, Felipe Carrasco as Michael Cassio, Alex Dauphin as Bianca, Martin Diaz-Valdes as Montano, Jake Samson as Lodovico, Diane Sintich as the Duke, and Robert Vignisson as Roderigo. Julia Badger and Nick Savin understudy. Michael Sheridan will stage-manage the production with fight choreography by Lana Whittington, sets designed by Kevin Rolfs, lighting by Becs Bartle, sound by Donny Walker and Kelly Askam, and costumes by Gary Nocco and Caleb Awe.

Previews are November 8-10 at 7:30 pm; opening November 11 and running through December 3 with performances Mondays, Wednesdays through Saturdays at 7:30 pm and Sunday at 3 pm. (No performances Wednesday, Nov 22 or Thursday, Nov 23). Press opening is Monday, November 13. All performances will be at the Heartland Studio Theatre, 7016 North Glenwood Avenue, Chicago. Purchase tickets at invictustheatre.brownpapertickets.com.

Charles Askenaizer (Director) graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Theatre and Communications. He has worked professionally in Chicago as an actor and director for 7 years. Recent directing credits include Titus Andronicus, Julius Caesar, Two Gentlemen of Verona, and a reading of The Difference. Charles has worked with Citadel Theatre, the Artistic Home, City Lit, Raven, Brown Paper Box, (re)Discover Theatre, The Side Project, and many more.

Photo Flash: First Look at Invictus Theatre's Inaugural Show, OTHELLO
Felipe Carrasco (back to camera), Diane Sintich, Jake Samson, Martin Diaz-Valdes

Photo Flash: First Look at Invictus Theatre's Inaugural Show, OTHELLO
Felipe Carrasco, Jake Samson

Photo Flash: First Look at Invictus Theatre's Inaugural Show, OTHELLO
Martin Diaz-Valdes, Karissa Murrell Myers, Jake Samson, Diane Sintich

Photo Flash: First Look at Invictus Theatre's Inaugural Show, OTHELLO
Martin Diaz-Valdes, Felipe Carrasco; Background L-R: Joseph Beal, Alex Dauphin, Jake Samson, Diane Sintich

Photo Flash: First Look at Invictus Theatre's Inaugural Show, OTHELLO
Reginald Vaughn, Karissa Murrell Myers

Photo Flash: First Look at Invictus Theatre's Inaugural Show, OTHELLO
Reginald Vaughn, Karissa Murrell Myers


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