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Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: July ::
Qs: Stewart as Othello; Yale Collected Shakespeare
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0754.  Monday, 14 July 1997.

[1]     From:   Selena Thomason <
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        Date:   Saturday, 12 Jul 1997 12:00:33 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Patrick Stewart as Othello

[2]     From:   Jason Goldsmith <
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        Date:   Monday, 14 Jul 1997 13:28:04 -0400
        Subj:   The Yale Collected Shakespeare


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Selena Thomason <
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Date:           Saturday, 12 Jul 1997 12:00:33 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        Patrick Stewart as Othello

The Shakespeare Theatre in Washington DC recently announced their
1997-98 season.  Among the shows is an unusual production of Othello
starring Patrick Stewart in the title role.  (For those who don't know
PS, he was a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company for many years
before gaining fame and fortune as Star Trek's Captain Jean-Luc Picard.
He's an unusual choice for the role of Othello because he is white.
Othello is scripted as a Moor and his "blackness" is often referred to
in the text.)  The concept of the production is to explore the theme of
"otherness" by casting all the remaining roles with African-American
actors.  This preserves Othello's status as "other."

I'm soliciting opinions on this.  As a proponent of non-traditional
casting, I'm find the concept fascinating, but fraught with both
problems and possibilities.  What  do you think?

Do you think it'll work?  Is it true to Shakespeare's vision?  (Does
that matter?)  Is it a bold re-imagining of the text or just a gimmick?
Is it a victory for non-traditional casting or just a way to give
Stewart a chance to play a role he wouldn't normally have access to?
Any and all opinions are welcome.

Also, does anyone know of other unusual castings of Othello?

I look forward to your comments.

Selena

PS - for more info on the Shakespeare Theatre, check out the web page at
ShakespeareDC.org.

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jason Goldsmith <
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Date:           Monday, 14 Jul 1997 13:28:04 -0400
Subject:        The Yale Collected Shakespeare

I was just wondering what the consensus is concerning the Yale collected
works of Shakespeare . . . I know there has been some discussion
regarding other editions, but I want to know how the Yale stacks up [no
pun intended]  What are its strong and weak points?

Best Regards,
Jason Goldsmith
 

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