African-American Shakespeare Company Stages OTHELLO
For their 2th anniversary season the African-American Shakespeare Company presents their new production of Othello this October, with Artistic Director L. Peter Callender in the title role for the first time. Directed by Carl Jordan, he will be joined by Isabel Siragusa (Desdemona) and Michael Ray Wisely (Iago).
Set in contemporary Washington DC and Syria, the production will focus in on Othello's status as an outsider, one who grew up with a strong Muslim background, who as a child grew up as part of a military gang in Africa. Opposing cultures, roles, customs, families, traditions and Othello's marriage to a young Christian White woman all play a part in how the tragedy unfolds.
Director Carl Jordan sees the play as a cautionary tale for our times. "In Shakespeare's production, circa 1603, the play was done mostly in contemporary dress and staging of the era. By setting the play in today's turbulent landscape, we become painfully aware that our current culture is still struggling with such issues such as race, misogyny and nationalism."
"The challenge is to make it fresh and relevant," says Callender. "Lots of actors, and I daresay, companies, shy away from the play because of the racism and bigotry it depicts. I think now is the time more than ever to do this play. It has become personal for me. I am very interested in the idea that this could have been one of Shakespeare's greatest love stories if it weren't for the poisonous interference of others surrounding Othello. Not unlike Romeo and Juliet, it is a tragedy beyond scope."
Tickets: $40.00 General Admission at www.african-americanshakes.org
Photo Credit: Lance Huntley