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Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: July ::
Re: Patrick Stewart as Othello
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0758.  Wednesday, 16 July 1997.

[1]     From:   Kate Maurer <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 15 Jul 1997 09:45:38 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0755  Re: Patrick Stewart as Othello

[2]     From:   Lars Engle <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 15 Jul 1997 12:03:26 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Patrick Stewart's Othello

[3]     From:   Sean Lawrence <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 15 Jul 1997 10:25:27 -0700
        Subj:   RE: SHK 8.0754  Qs: Stewart as Othello

[4]     From:   Eric Salehi <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 15 Jul 1997 22:15:51 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Patrick Stewart as Othello


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kate Maurer <
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Date:           Tuesday, 15 Jul 1997 09:45:38 -0500
Subject: 8.0755  Re: Patrick Stewart as Othello
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0755  Re: Patrick Stewart as Othello

On the subject of Patrick Stewart as Othello-if Lorne Greene (of Bonanza
fame) can do it (CBC Production, 1952), certainly Patrick Stewart can!

Kate

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Lars Engle <
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Date:           Tuesday, 15 Jul 1997 12:03:26 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        Patrick Stewart's Othello

Does anyone besides me think Patrick Stewart strikingly resembles
Michael Jordan?

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <
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Date:           Tuesday, 15 Jul 1997 10:25:27 -0700
Subject: 8.0754  Qs: Stewart as Othello
Comment:        RE: SHK 8.0754  Qs: Stewart as Othello

Thanks, Selena, for letting us all know about the upcoming Patrick
Stewart Othello.  I literally trembled with excitement reading about
it!  For months now, I've been boring friends with how such a
race-reversed casting could be worthwhile.  For one thing, I think it
makes those of us in the audience who are white a bit more aware of the
racial issues.  It certainly defamiliarizes them, and if we have an
easier time sympathizing with a white hero, it provides an insight into
living as a minority member in a racist world.

Cheers,
Sean.

[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Eric Salehi <
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Date:           Tuesday, 15 Jul 1997 22:15:51 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        Patrick Stewart as Othello

Like Selena Thomason I am intrigued by the notion of a white Othello in
a black Venice.  I saw Stewart in George Wolfe's NYPT production of _The
Tempest_  two years ago, and while I was initially skeptical about
Wolfe's bluntly post-colonial spin, I came away feeling that the whole
thing really worked.

However, _Othello_ may be a different matter.  I've always felt that
it's important to allow the possibility (now largely considered passe)
that Othello is North African, and therefore not "black" in a
conventional sense.  Certainly the Elizabethans used the term much more
broadly than we do, and several actors, including Olivier and Welles,
have been criticized for preoccupying themselves with the task of
capturing the character's complexion.  In this respect the casting of
Stewart as a "white" Othello might work very well.  But I also agree
that the textual references to the character's "blackness" might sound
strange coming from actors whose complexion is generally darker than
Stewart's.  Maybe one way to preserve and enhance Othello's "otherness"
is to change all of the black references to metrically equivalent
pejoratives of whiteness: "pale," "bleach'd," etc.  Who's tupping whose
ewe?

-- Eric Salehi
 

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