Et Tu, Iago?

A military tribunal is right where you don’t want to be. You’re already the enemy, and now you’re on trial before a judge and jury composed entirely of the other side. In such a scenario, could you be blamed for suddenly deciding to distrust someone close to you? Not really? Maybe? African-American Shakespeare Company director Sherri Young sets the company’s new Othello at a military tribunal -- the perfect bummer for Shakespeare’s epic of betrayal. Black/white relations in the real world have taken a nose dive lately (we’re thinking of Tea Party protesters vs. civil rights hero Rep. John Lewis), and the tribunal backdrop, which recalls blatant racism of another kind, puts the drama level where it belongs: Way up high. The play is about military officers, their intrigues and bad behavior, and in the end, about torture we never see, so the parallels are extensive. The company’s mission is to produce the classics “in a manner that is lively, entertaining, and rings relevant to diverse contemporary audiences,” and with this production, Young is set to do exactly that.
April 3-18, 8 p.m., 2010

 
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