Othello

By William Shakespeare
Directed by Christopher V. Edwards
Costume Design by Charlotte Palmer-Lane

Othello, newly married to Desdemona, is appointed leader of a major military operation. Iago, passed over for promotion by Othello in favor of the younger Cassio, persuades Othello that Cassio and Desdemona are having an affair, with devastating consequences.

Othello is one of the greatest tragedies by William Shakespeare, written in approximately 1603 and first performed in 1604. Our 2014 production of Othello will be set in a modern military context.

Othello, a highly skilled and esteemed general in the service of Venice, has recently eloped with the daughter of a powerful Venetian, Brabantio. Brabantio is upset and believes that Othello has enchanted his daughter, Desdemona, with witchcraft to force her to marry him. Othello defends himself against the allegation of witchcraft from Brabantio in front of the Duke of Venice. He believes Othello and orders Othello to go to war against the Turks on the island of Cyprus.

Othello accepts the orders and travels to Cyprus taking his new bride with him. Meanwhile Othello has promoted a young soldier, Cassio, to be his personal lieutenant over Iago. Iago, an older soldier, is offended at being passed over and begins a malicious campaign to destroy Othello. Iago focuses his plot on making Othello believe that his wife is being unfaithful with Cassio.

Othello takes the bait and is overcome with jealousy and sets about to plot the murder of Cassio and Desdemona. An attempt is made on Cassio’s life but it fails. Desdemona is not as lucky; she is smothered to death by Othello. Emilia, Iago’s wife, reveals to Othello the truth about Iago’s evil scheming and she tries to expose Iago publicly but is killed by Iago. Iago briefly escapes but is caught and brought back to face Othello, who wounds Iago and kills himself.