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    • This Othello poster portrays the major themes depicted in the play. Othello has previously been performed in many different settings, ranging from the traditional Elizabethan staging to modern-day Afghanistan.

    • Andrew Treat '18, who plays Iago, reads lines during a rehearsal of Othello

Othello Comes to the Hill

Saloni Jain '19, Assistant Entertainment Editor
The Hopkins Drama Association never fails to impress. This autumn’s production, Othello, features a thrilling meditation on the power of love and the destructiveness of suspicion.
The Hopkins Drama Association never fails to impress. This autumn’s production, Othello, features a thrilling meditation on the power of love and the destructiveness of suspicion.

Othello, played by TJ Bordeaux ’17, is in love with his young and gorgeous wife, Desdemona, portrayed by Georgia Doolittle ’18. Othello, a highly respected general, promotes wealthy Cassio, Andrew Roberge ’18, over Iago, Andrew Treat ’18, who furiously manipulates Othello into believing that Desdemona has not been faithful to him. Othello is very different from many Shakespearean plays because of the setting, but it is similar in terms of complexity. Actors and actresses taking part in Othello rave about their favorite aspects of the complex play. “The setting is surprisingly modern for a Shakespearean play. We are putting on a treasured Shakespearean play in a modern day military setting like in the Middle East! This play is very edgy and pushes boundaries,” said Andrew Roberge ’18. 

Of course, the setting is brought alive by the characters and script coming together. Holden Turner ’17 said, “ A piece as complex as Shakespeare forces every part of the play to come together in order to understand the script. The direction of the scene, the tone each character strikes, even the manipulation of every inch of this stage is heightened because of the complexity of plot, purpose, and actions.”  

There are many unique aspects to Othello that make it especially enticing, from a small cast to a different audience set up from past productions. Having a small cast has advantages:“The fact that Othello has so few major characters makes for a small cast which I enjoy. It brings us closer together, I think, and makes it easier to connect with both the lines and each other,” said TJ Bordeaux ’17.

Another advantage to a close knit cast is the support and how comfortable the actors and actresses are with each other. “Everyone is supportive of everyone else, and the people who really make this cast shine are the ones who are not afraid to devote their time to crafting the best production we can have, whether through technical work or the act of honing every line to perfection on stage,” said Turner.
The different set up of audience members will allow for a very interesting showtime experience.  “Something unique about this show is that we are doing it ‘in the round,’ meaning that the audience will be on the stage with us, surrounding us from all four sides,” said Liza Kottler ’17. 

There are certain aspects of the rehearsals actors and actresses particularly enjoy. “One of my favorite parts of rehearsal is being able to truly understand the meaning and motivation behind the words of Shakespeare in a way that I just did not get in the classroom when I read it last year in Writing Semester,” said Bordeaux.   

Othello,
at  its  core, is a play wrought with drama and conflicting interests. “Jealousy, envy, misplaced pride and prejudice—this devastating story smolders with timeless issues,” Director Hope Hartup said.
 
Othello will be performed in the Lovell   Auditorium on November 3, 4, and 5 at 7 p.m.  
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