Othello plays Bard on the Beach 27th season
Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival continues its 27th season with the opening of Othello on the Howard Family Stage in the Douglas Campbell Theatre Tent. Directed by Bob Frazer, Shakespeare’s tale of a fatally flawed leader and the master manipulator who destroys him is set in the midst of the violence and racism of the American Civil War. Othello runs from June 24 to September 20.
THE STORY: This production of Othello is set in 1864, towards the end of the American Civil War. Late one night, two men – the soldier Iago (Kayvon Kelly) and the wealthy landowner Roderigo (Andrew Cownden) – are discussing the secret marriage of Othello (Luc Roderique), a Union Army general, to Desdemona (Kayla Deorksen), the daughter of the merchant Brabantio (David Warburton). Iago, an ensign, believes Othello insulted him when he promoted Cassio (Jeff Gladstone) to be his lieutenant instead of him, and in the spirit of revenge, he promises to help Roderigo, who covets Desdemona. Iago and Roderigo awaken Brabantio to inform him that his daughter has eloped with Othello, knowing he will oppose the marriage. Meanwhile, news of an impending attack by the Confederates has reached the Duke (Ian Butcher), who summons Othello to plot the Union’s response. Brabantio interrupts their meeting, accusing Othello of corrupting his daughter. Desdemona appears and assures everyone that she has married freely, for love. Satisfied, the Duke orders Othello to set sail to Charleston to lead the defense; Desdemona is to join him later, escorted by Iago and his wife Emilia (Luisa Jojic). Iago privately urges Roderigo to follow them, convincing the disappointed suitor that he can still win Desdemona. Alone, Iago reveals his plan to get even with Othello and Cassio, using Desdemona as his means of revenge. Caught up in this powerful tragedy are Kamyar Pazandeh as Lodovico, Shaker Paleja as Montano andSereana Malani as Bianca.
Director Bob Frazer creates a fitting backdrop to the theme of racial prejudice in Othello by setting the play during the American Civil War. Scenery Designer Amir Ofek evokes a landscape of destruction caused by war, while Costume Designer Mara Gottler provides unique, period-inspired costumes. Sound Designer Steven Charles uses poignant ballads and spirited old-time banjo tunes to underscore the play’s themes, drawing on music from the American Civil War era. Fight Director Nicholas Harrison highlights the conflict with stylized fighting, and the production is enhanced by Lighting Designer John Webber. Props are designed by Heidi Wilkinson; Jessica Nelson is Apprentice Director.
Bard on the Beach, Vanier Park
To September 20
in repertory with PericlesPurchase tickets
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