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"And What's He Then That Says I Play the Villian"

    Othello is a huge play. There are many different angles from which to examine it. The issues of jealousy, betrayal, race, truth and the nature of trust can all be explored, dissected and examined. When I began work on this production, what struck me was that the world that these characters live in is divided in two: They exist either in a state of war, a state that offers order, structure, and clarity, or peace, which in this work leads to chaos, confusion and deception.

It is in a world of men, a world of violence that we find a newly-wed couple. He has never before experienced love; she is attracted to his tales of battle and hardship. It is a recipe for disaster or at least a tragedy!

We have set our production of Othello in the world of modern day Marines, not to examine the military but to have a framework that allows us to tell Shakespeare's story in a more immediate way. In this telling, although Othello was written over 400+ years ago, Shakespeare's characters remain alive and contemporary for today's audience. Although one may not know what "an ancient" is, surely one is all too familiar with a Colin Powell or Norman Schwartzkoff just as we are familiar with a long suffering military wife, a soldier trying to regain his reputation and a young woman forced to cope with an explicably jealous husband.

We have tried to bring out the comedy in Shakespeare's text, for as in life, in tragedy, one can find humor.

Scott Rabinowitz