Review: The Illyrian Players Take on OTHELLO

Othello - Illyrian Players
This isn’t the first time the Illyrian Players have taken on Shakespeare. In 2011, the company began its provocative theatrical conversation about gender and sex with Twelfth Night, and since then has given LA a BDSM version of The Taming of the Shrew and a gender reversed Macbeth. In addition to Shakespeare, they have produced a number of new plays; bold, edgy works that set them apart from other theatre companies, led by a vision that sees theatre as “a subversive art form with which to change the world.”

Director Carly D. Weckstein and company now turn their eyes to Shakespeare’s tragedy, Othello, in an exploration of how betrayal, deceit, jealousy, and racism can deeply affect the psyche. The concept is modern and gritty; an expansive black and white world compressed into a small black box theatre with a single striking image on the back wall, conjured as if it were a ghost moon over the River Styx. Indeed, it does at times feel like the devil himself is watching over this tale, sending his masked demons – quite literally – to influence the characters from the shadowland.  More


The Illyrian Players Open a Provocative OTHELLO This Halloween

Illyrian Players Othello

From the company that brought you a cross-gender cast Macbeth and The Taming of the Shrew as a BDSM love story, comes a provocative Othello – a theatrical exploration of outsiders and obsessions.

For director Carly D. Weckstein, Othello is one of Shakespeare’s darkest and most uncomfortable tragedies. It not only includes deep racism and misogyny but is often accused of sexualizing and glorifying domestic violence–an apparently odd choice for a progressive and “sex-positive” theater company. But for Weckstein, the fact that Othello remains deeply disturbing is the reason to stage it. In talking about her motivation to direct the play, she argues “racism, misogyny, jealousy and domestic violence are tragedies that happen every day. If we actually want to heal what is damaging in our world, we must confront what most upsets us and that means coming face to face with our own demons.”  More

Audition Update: Kingsmen Shakespeare Festival and Illyrian Players

Kingsmen Shakespeare Festival
Kingsmen Theatre Company is seeking classically trained actors with significant experience in the performance of Shakespeare for their outdoor summer repertory season which will include The Tempest and Hamlet. Experience with stage combat, dance, and/or singing is a plus; actors will be cast in both shows. All roles are open in The Tempest (directed by Michael Arndt) except Prospero and all roles in Hamlet (directed by Brett Elliott) are open except Polonius. Actors of all ethnicities are strongly encouraged to audition. Prepare two contrasting Shakespeare monologues, or one Shakespeare monologue, total time not to exceed 3 minutes. Rehearsals and performances will take place at California Lutheran University, 60 W Olsen Rd, Thousand Oaks, CA. First rehearsal is June 3 and performances run June 28 – August 4. Equity Principal auditions will be held 10:00 am – 5:00 pm on April 13 at the Academy for New Musical Theatre, 5628 Vineland Avenue, North Hollywood, CA 91601. For more details, visit or

Illyrian Players Theatre Co.
The Illyrian Players are looking to cast 14 actors in Taming of the Shrew, an S&M love story, directed and adapted by artistic director Carly D. Weckstein. This will be a unique and stimulating production, a never before seen version of this classic battle of the sexes. Auditions will be held Saturday April 27 on the UCLA Campus 12:00 – 7:00 pm. Meet in the Sculpture Garden, North Campus near the McGowan Theatre Building. The closest parking structure is parking lot 3. Please send an email with your name and phone number to requesting the half hour time slot you would like to audition during. Time slots will be first come first serve. If you have a conflict with this date, please inform Carly via email for alternate arrangements.

The production will run three weekends in August, specific dates to be announced as decided. Rehearsals will begin May 12 or May 18. Rehearsals will mostly be weekends and evenings. How many rehearsals you are required to attend will depend on which role(s) you are cast in. There are no gender or racial requirements for actors being cast in this production. Anyone can audition for any role. Kate will mostly likely be played by a female and Petruchio by a male, but we are open to other magical options. All other characters could be played by any actor. For complete details about what to expect at auditions and what to prepare, go to

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