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.
Tickets are $7 for SMU faculty, staff and students. Buy tickets online at Vendini or contact the Meadows Ticket Office, 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS).
(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.)
Meadows Theatre closes its 2009-10 season with one of William Shakespeare’s most enduringly popular comedies. Much Ado About Nothing will run April 28-May 2 in the Greer Garson Theatre, Owen Arts Center.
Michael Connolly, associate professor and head of acting, directs the production.
The story revolves around a pair of lovers, Claudio and Hero, who are to be married in one week. Meanwhile, they conspire with Don Pedro, the prince of Aragon, to play matchmaker to two of their friends, Beatrice and Benedick. However, the prince’s illegitimate brother, Don John, driven by jealousy, is making plans to sabotage the coming wedding.
Tickets are $7 each for SMU faculty, staff and students. Buy tickets online or contact the Meadows Ticket Office, 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS).
(Above, M.F.A. candidates Matt Tallman and Cheryl Lowber as Benedick and Beatrice in Meadows Theatre’s 2010 production of William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, directed by Michael Connolly. Photo by Linda Blase.)
SMU professors and special guests will share the stage in a symposium on the transformation of a great American novel into a full-scale opera.
“From Page to Stage: The Operatic Journey of Moby-Dick“ previews the Dallas Opera’s world premiere of the Gene Scheer–Jake Heggie opera based on Herman Melville’s classic. The symposium takes place March 27-28, 2010, and is a collaboration with the Texas Book Festival and the Division of Music in SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts.
> Visit the Dallas Opera website for performance dates and ticket information
- “Melville, the Man” – 2 p.m. March 27, Caruth Auditorium, Owen Arts Center. Free. Moderated by pianist and popular pre-concert speaker Shields-Collins Bray, with Melville scholar T. Walter Herbert (professor emeritus at Southwestern University, Georgetown, Texas) and Duncan Osborne, Melville’s great-grandson. For more information, contact Dallas Opera patron services coordinator Shelby Covington, 214-443-1013.
- “Melville, the Inspiration” – 3:15 p.m. March 27, Caruth Auditorium, Owen Arts Center. Free. Moderated by Bray, with Heggie and Scheer, with readings from the novel by Michael Connolly, head of acting in the Meadows School’s Division of Theatre. For more information, contact Shelby Covington, 214-443-1013.
- “Melville, In the Heart of the Sea” – 4 p.m. March 28, Hamon Hall, Winspear Opera House. Free, but limited to subscribers and donors to the Dallas Opera, Texas Book Festival, and Meadows School Division of Music; reservations required. Moderated by KERA reporter-producer Jerome Weeks, with Scheer and 2007 Pulitzer Prize finalist Nathaniel Philbrick (author of In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex, a 2001 book recounting the true story that inspired Melville’s Moby-Dick). For more information, call the Dallas Opera hot line at 214-443-1044, or R.S.V.P. at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Meadows Theatre 2008-09 season continues with a new production of one of William Shakespeare’s most popular works. Twelfth Night, directed by Associate Professor Michael Connolly, runs Nov. 19-23 in the Greer Garson Theatre, Owen Arts Center.
Written in 1601 and named for the Christmas season’s Twelfth Night holiday (also known as Epiphany), the play uses the story of shipwrecked twins and a sudden love triangle to explore issues of misguided passion and mistaken identity.
Twelfth Night “is one of the few Shakespearean plays never to have gone out of fashion and always to appear right for the present moment,” writes Connolly in his Director’s Notes. “Perhaps [its] enduring appeal … lies in the way in which the play encourages those who perform it and the audiences who come to see it to investigate personally and profoundly the space between those who love and the breath that separates ‘lips that love’ and life from death.”
Performances begin at 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday and at 2 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Tickets are $7 each for SMU faculty, staff and students. For more information, contact the Meadows Ticket Office, 8-2787 (8-ARTS).
(Left, M.F.A. candidates Sandy Deitz as Olivia, Matt Tallman as Orsino and Abbey Siegworth as Viola/Cesario. Photograph by Linda Blase.)
Meadows Theatre ends its 2007-08 season with a timely update of a timeless classic. The Meadows production of Molière’s satire Tartuffe opens April 23 in the Greer Garson Theatre, Owen Arts Center.
Originally subtitled The Hypocrite and debuting in 1669 – 5 years after Molière completed his first version – Tartuffe tells the story of a con artist who wins the trust of a wealthy man by pretending to be a paragon of religious virtue. The Meadows version has been updated by 300 years, with the title character taking on the persona of a hippie guru.
Tartuffe would become the most popular and profitable of all Molière’s plays, but its tweaking of religious hypocrisy and the French upper class led to its suppression by both church and secular authorities. It has since become the most frequently performed play in the French language.
The production is directed by Michael Connolly, associate professor and head of acting in the Meadows Theatre Division. Tickets are $7 each for faculty, staff and students. For more information, contact the Meadows Ticket Office, 8-2787 (8-ARTS). (Right, M.F.A. candidates Matt Tallman and Clay Bunker as Orgon and Tartuffe, with senior Emily Ernst as Elmire.)