Monday, August 13, 2007
Thursday, August 9, 2007
Sunday, August 5, 2007
Old Will, is rearing his head in Stratford again…Othello—the tragedy of the moor of Venice will be staged. And I have volunteered as a stage hand, (let's say a New Rude Mechanical) for the performance.
Nice to be back in the Theatre. I recognize it already by its lack of pay. I shall be doing the load-in, the lights, the sound, the program, all the good things a liaison between a theatrical troupe and the producing entity—and all of it for free. Ah, but is anything free…
The beginnings of a press release: An Actor’s Equity production of The Tragedy of Othello, The Moor of Venice by William Shakespeare will be staged on the grounds of the Stratford Festival Theatre (Stratford, Connecticut) this Friday and Saturday night (August 10 & 11, 2007) at 7 pm. The production sponsored by the Mayor and the Stratford Arts Commission; is a presentation, developed at the Theatre Artist Workshop of Connecticut directed by Robert Johanson. Robert Johanson served for 20 years as the Artistic Director of the Paper Mill Playhouse—the State Theatre of New Jersey. He’s performed and directed on Broadway, NY City Opera, Madison Square Garden and theatres around the country and Europe. In addition to directing, Mr. Johanson will also be playing the role of Iago, one of Shakespeare’s cruelest villains. The role of the jealous moor, goaded into murder, and a tragic end shall be played Forest Hamilton, the Artistic Director of the Blueberry Pond Theatre Ensemble in Ossining, NY and a graduate of the NYU Tisch School of the Arts; while the role of Desdemona will be played by Kathryn Marchand. Kathryn appeared this season in Shakespeare-on-the-Sound’s production of A Comedy of Errors, and her numerous credits include Broadway, Off-Broadway and Regional Theatres across the country; while her television credits include The Sopranos, Law and Order and film credits include The War of the Worlds.
[Aside] I played Iago but once, and that for a staged reading on the epistle side of St. John's Cathedral or as we called it then "Gabriel's Horn and Tabernacle" in Harlem, NY. The actor who read Othello, had played the role once and had a story to tell about his close encounter with a group of theatre-supporting, fund-raising, supposedly enlightened yokels Down South. Legend has it, that the performance of the Tragedy by this troupe, in which the actors heightened the role (and fear of) of a woman's awakened sexual passion and the taboo of intermarriage (miscegenation) was a concept that worked all to well, because the performance bestirred a frenzy and near-riot, forcing the cancelation of the evening's fund-raising activities and a contractual dispute that was finally arbitrated in the company’s favor by the board of the Actor’s Equity Association grievance committee-their final ruling stating: "when you book a performance of the Tragedy of Othello, you also book the meaning of the play."