Racism, love, jealousy and betrayal provide the major themes for one of William Shakespeare’s greatest tragedies. Meadows Theatre presents the story of the Moorish general Othello through Nov. 20, 2011 at 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday and at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The curtain goes up in the Greer Garson Theatre, Owen Arts Center.
Shakespeare’s play is believed to have been written in 1603, based on the 1565 Italian short story “Un Capitano Moro” (“A Moorish Captain”) by Giovanni Battista Cinthio. Since its first known performance in 1604, it has been adapted in every medium from opera to ballet and from film to graphic novel.
The Meadows production is directed by Michael Connolly, associate professor and head of acting in the Meadows Division of Theatre. In this incarnation, the Venice of 1602 is transformed into Paris of 1952 as France struggled to maintain its colonial holdings and international power by dispatching officers and troops into Vietnam.
“By comparing France’s attempt to maintain its empire in Indochina and North Africa with Venice’s commitment to holding Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean, we found a rich, imaginative jumping-off point,” Connolly writes in his director’s notes.
(Above, M.F.A. candidate Beethovan Oden as Othello and senior David Price as Iago in the 2011 production of William Shakespeare’s Othello staged by Meadows Theatre at SMU. Photo by Linda Blase.)