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


Santa Monica Filmmaker Goes International with OTHELLO Adaptation

Othello city shakes
Congratulations to City Shakespeare Company co-founder Allison Volk whose short film adaptation of Othello, which she produced with Loyola Marymount University professor and director, Mikael Kruzriegler has been accepted into the Kenneth Branagh’s Shakespeare Film Festival in Stratford-upon-Avon. Othello will premiere in England on November 6, 2014. The festival is sponsored by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, dedicated to preserving Shakespeare’s home town.

“It feels like a good omen that this news came right at this time,” says Volk. “As artists, we’re always asking ourselves if what we’re doing is hitting the mark. This is like a little gift of validation, and that always feels nice.”

Volk is currently in Niwot, Colorado filming her first feature length film, an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth which features a script co-written by her City Shakes co-artistic director Brooke Bishop that takes place on one night in the Macbeth household; the night the king is murdered.

For more information about the second annual Shakespeare Film Festival, visit

Review: Blair Underwood and Richard Thomas Lead a Powerful OTHELLO

Othello - The Old Globe

Kristen Connolly and Blair Underwood with Noah Bean and Richard Thomas (background). Photos by Jim Cox.

There is no redemption in Othello. Shakespeare has provided no late opportunity to undo what has been done, no chance to make amends for the terrible wrongs lavished upon the innocent, and no way for the audience to feel anything but horror for the treachery that has filled the stage for two and a half hours.

That such a series of betrayals could be orchestrated by one man so lacking in remorse that his final words of explanation are merely that he will give no explanation speaks to how calculated Shakespeare’s choice is to leave the audience without closure. An unrepentant Iago (Richard Thomas) denies a devastated Othello (Blair Underwood) the one thing he desperately seeks to know – why – by saying, “Demand me nothing. What you know, you know. From this time forth I never will speak word.” And when Thomas delivers those final words calmly, coolly, without even looking at him, it is enough to give you chills.  More

Ghost Players Theatre Co Presents OTHELLO Revisited


Othello Revisited
Ghost Players Theatre Co. presents a modern adaptation of William Shakespeare’s OTHELLO August 9 – Sept 7 at the Avery Schreiber Playhouse in North Hollywood. Set in a post-apocalyptic war society, it is the story of a noble moor in the Venetian military whose life and marriage are ruined by his trusted, envious, and deceitful ensign, Iago. This “revisited” production, directed by Stehanie Alkazian, will make radical cuts and use mildly modernized language without losing its original poetic rhythm.

The cast includes Michael Tunstill as Othello and GPTC artistic director Ko Zushi as Iago, with Neil Fleischer (Duke of Venice), Monte Van Vleet (Brabantio), Christy Nevarez (Gratiano/ 2nd Senator), Faruk Yard (Lodovico), Kevin Shiley (Cassio), Wali Habib (Roderigo), Christina Gregory (Montano), Elyse Hamilton (Messenger, Musician, Clown), Vivi Thai (Desdemona), Catherine Leong (Emilia), Andrea Judd (Bianca), May Ishikawa (1st Senator, Soldier) and Brock Jones (Herald, Soldier).

Tickets are $20 and are available at or by calling (310) 210-9143. The Avery Schreiber Playhouse is located at 4934 Lankershim Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91601.

The Old Globe Announces Full Cast and Creative Team of OTHELLO

(from left) Richard Thomas stars as Iago, Blair Underwood as Othello, and Kristen Connolly as Desdemona. by Jim Cox.

L-R: Richard Thomas stars as Iago, Blair Underwood as Othello, and Kristen Connolly as Desdemona in Othello. Photo credit: Jim Cox.

The Old Globe has announced the complete cast of Shakespeare’s classic tragedy Othello, directed by artistic director Barry Edelstein. Joining the previously announced Blair Underwood in the title role, Richard Thomas as Iago, and Kristen Connolly as Desdemona are Broadway and Globe veterans Noah Bean (Michael Cassio; Yellow Face, “Damages”), Jonny Orsini (Roderigo; The Nance), Mark Pinter (The Duke of Venice; the Globe’s Hamlet and Charley’s Aunt), Angela Reed (Emilia; Rock ‘n’ Roll, the Globe’s August: Osage County), and Mike Sears (Brabantio, Gratiano; La Jolla Playhouse’s Sideways and His Girl Friday).

In addition, the cast will include Old Globe/USD M.F.A. Program actors Erin Elizabeth Adams (Bianca), Jamal Douglas (Othello’s Aide-de-Camp), Kushtrim Hoxha (Montano), Patrick Zeller (Lodovico), and in the ensemble: Meaghan Boeing, Lindsay Brill, Charlotte Bydwell, Lowell Byers, Adam Gerber, Stephen Hu, Tyler Kent, Robbie Simpson and Megan M. Storti.  More

National Theatre’s OTHELLO Receives Screening at UCLA

Britweek Othello screeningL.A. Theatre Works and BritWeek LA will screen the National Theatre’s production of Othello, broadcast in HD, at UCLA’s James Bridges Theater on May 4 at 2:00 pm. The event is part of BritWeek LA’s 2014 schedule of events.

Olivier Award-winning actors Adrian Lester (Henry V at the National Theatre) and Rory Kinnear (The Last of the Haussmans, James Bond: Skyfall), star as Othello and Iago, respectively, directed by Nicholas Hytner (Timon of Athens, One Man, Two Guvnors).

In Shakespeare’s play, Othello, newly married to Desdemona, is appointed leader of a major military operation. Iago, passed over for promotion by Othello in favor of the young Cassio, persuades Othello that Cassio and Desdemona are having an affair. The screening will take place at the James Bridges Theater, UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, 235 Charles E. Young Drive in Los Angeles, 90095. Tickets are $20 for regular seating; $25 for premium seating; and $10 for students with valid student ID. (310) 827-0889 or

Blair Underwood to Star in OTHELLO at The Old Globe

Blair UnderwodBig news from The Old Globe today as they announce that two-time Golden Globe Award nominee Blair Underwood will make his Globe debut in the title role of Shakespeare’s classic tragedy Othello in the company’s 2014 Summer Shakespeare Festival. Underwood recently debuted on Broadway in the iconic role of Stanley in Tennessee Williams’s A Streetcar Named Desire and is well-known to audiences for his television and film roles. He is no stranger to Shakespeare, previously starring in Measure for Measure with Lisa Gay Hamilton and Kevin Kline for the 1993 summer season at the New York Shakespeare Festival (aka Shakespeare in the Park).

Joining him and also making their Globe debuts are the previously announced Emmy Award winner Richard Thomas as Iago and Kristen Connolly as Desdemona. They continue collaborations with Old Globe Artistic Director Barry Edelstein that began in New York: Thomas starred in Edelstein’s critically acclaimed production of Timon of Athens at The Public Theater in 2011, and Connolly in three Shakespeare plays that Edelstein helped produce at The Public.

“I’m honored and excited to welcome the great Blair Underwood to the Old Globe family,” said Edelstein. “He is a distinguished stage actor whose intensity and charisma will give us a majestic and magnetic Othello. That he joins a company already boasting the luminaries Richard Thomas and Kristen Connolly is truly for me an embarrassment of riches.”

Performances run June 22 – July 27, with Opening Night on Saturday, June 28 at 8:00 pm. Tickets to the Globe’s 2014 Summer Season are currently available by subscription only at or by calling (619) 23-GLOBE. The Old Globe is located in San Diego’s Balboa Park at 1363 Old Globe Way.

Richard Thomas Debuts as Iago in The Old Globe’s OTHELLO

Richard ThomasThe Old Globe has announced two of the stars of Shakespeare’s classic tragedy, Othello, the first show of the Globe’s 2014 Summer Shakespeare Festival. Making their Globe debuts are Emmy Award-winner Richard Thomas (The Americans, The Waltons) as Iago and Kristen Connolly (House of Cards, The Cabin in the Woods) as Desdemona.

Kristen ConnollyBoth artists continue collaborations with Old Globe artistic director Barry Edelstein that began in New York: Thomas starred in Edelstein’s critically acclaimed production of Timon of Athens at The Public Theater in 2011, and Connolly in three Shakespeare plays that Edelstein helped produce at The Public. Additional casting will be announced at a later date.  More

Audition Update: The Old Globe, Pacific Repertory Theatre

THE OLD GLOBE is holding AEA auditions in Los Angeles on January 3, 2014 for is 2014 summer season which includes Othello, Two Gentlemen of Verona and Quartet. Auditions will be held at Screenland Studios, 10501 Burbank Blvd. in North Hollywood from 10:00 am – 6:00 pm. Sign in begins at 9:00 am. Please prepare (2) one-minute contrasting monologues. Performers of all ethnic and racial backgrounds are encouraged to attend. For complete casting information, go to

PACIFIC REP in Carmel, CA is holding EPA auditions for its 2014 Main Stage Season on January 6, 2014. Auditions will take place at Pacific Repertory Theatre, Cassanova St. between 8th and 9th in Carmel, CA 93922 in the Circle Theatre from Noon – 6:00 PM. For an audition appointment call (831) 662-0100, Tuesday-Friday, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. The season includes The Winter’s Tale, Venus in Fur, Evie’s Waltz, and The Servant of Two Masters. Please prepare 2 contrasting pieces (1 classical preferable). Performers of all ethnic and racial backgrounds are encouraged to attend. For more info go to or

The Old Globe Announces Its 2014 Summer Season

Mark Lamos

Mark Lamos

The Old Globe has announced its 2014 summer season which will feature artistic director Barry Edelstein’s Summer Shakespeare Festival directorial debut with Shakespeare’s tragedy Othello. Presented in the outdoor Lowell Davies Festival Theatre, the Festival will also include Shakespeare’s comedy The Two Gentlemen of Verona, directed by Globe alumnus and Tony Award nominee Mark Lamos (Compleat Female Stage Beauty, Pentecost, Resurrection Blues).

Othello and Two Gentlemen of Verona will feature distinct scenery and casts, each with its own separate run. This is a return to the Globe’s outdoor theater’s producing structure of 1988 to 2003 under then-artistic director Jack O’Brien. Says Edelstein, “By returning to two free-standing productions, our artists will be provided greater latitude in their responses to Shakespeare, encouraging them to take each play on its own terms, creating unique worlds with production designs that suit the individual plays. This approach will immerse audiences in these timeless stories and the singular visions these artists bring to them.”  More

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