The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0199 Wednesday, 2 April 2008
Date: Monday, 31 Mar 2008 17:48:21 -0800
Subject: Aleut Othello in Alaska
Last Friday evening, my wife and I attended a performance of *Othello*
here in Kodiak, Alaska. The play had been abridged and some lines
"modified" to fit the setting of 1840s Russian America; Othello is an
Aleut admiral. The play was adapted and directed by David Edgecombe and
successful in applying the themes of the play to the chosen historical
setting. The Russians enslaved Aleuts to hunt sea otters for them. They
did, however, have some Aleut officers in the Russian Imperial Navy
(according to the program notes).
Allan Hayton, an Alaska Native, was a strong Othello and Paul Schweigart
a suitably slimy Iago. Tim Tucker was outstanding as "The Slavic Clown
and Lodovicof, cousin of Desdemona." He performed several original
"Russian" drinking songs which were well received.
The play will be performed in Palmer on April 4 & 5 and in Yakutat on
April 12. I urge any Shakespeareans here in the Great White North to go
see it. It's not great, but it's an evening well spent, nevertheless.
One last note: my wife who is not a Shakespeare buff had only one
comment: "That Desdemona isn't a very good role model."
Here's a link to a story about the play:
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