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Othello

 

OthelloFrom the Playbill – Director’s Notes:

Othello, the Moor, a foreigner in sixteenth century Venice, comes home in some deep spiritual way when he meets and falls in love with the pure, lovely and charming Desdemona. Othello has traveled the world and left his homeland far behind. He has been an outsider in other cultures for many years, working as a professional soldier. These foreign cultures may pay him tribute and give him accolades, but Desdemona invites Othello into her heart. How in the world do we get from here to Othello’s murder of Desdemona three days later? ….

 

 

Othello & Desdemona

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enter Iago. We the audience feel we know Othello the Moor despite his otherness which we deem superficial. But Iago is the quintessential unknowable. Why does Iago set out to destroy Othello? He gives a myriad of reasons, any of them true or false at any given moment. One might as well ask why there is evil in the world. And yet, of course, Iago’s evil is totally shrouded in his sameness: he is a member of Venetian society, the kid next door, the honest and loyal friend, the one Othello trusts to escort his wife to Cyprus.


Iago & Desdemona

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our production of Othello is set in the sixteenth century at the time when Venice ruled in Cyprus and was fending off the Turks in military combat. I’ve chosen this traditional setting in order to explore the meaning of otherness in the context that Shakespeare created for us. Current events resonate strongly for me in this story, but I leave the drawing of parallels to you.

 


Marin Shakespeare Company

Marin Shakespeare Company
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