The World of Othello

World-of-OthelloOur 15th Anniversary Season opens with Shakespeare’s tragic masterpiece, Othello.  Join us for the play and a series of free staged readings and lively community conversations in September and October. Together, let’s explore The World of Othello.  Read on for event details:  

OTHELLO, September 16 – October 9, 2016, at Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, 7 South Calvert Street at Redwood Street, two blocks from the Inner Harbor. thumbnail-Othello-for-web

Our 15th Anniversary Season opens with Othello,  Shakespeare’s tragic masterpiece of passion, power, and betrayal, directed by Ian Gallanar, our Founding Artistic Director. We’re thrilled to present the Washington-based actor Jason B. McIntosh in the lead role; he recently gave electrifying performances in Fences and in Ruined at Everyman Theatre. CSC Resident Acting Company member Jose Guzman will play Iago; he appeared with us this spring as Banquo in Macbeth. Our Desdemona, Diane Curley, glittered in last season’s opener, Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. (Photo by Teresa Castracane.)   Reserve tickets: Call the Box Office at 410-244-8570 or Click here for the ticket calendar. 


The following World of Othello events have passed: We thank all who attended and all who contributed to making these events lively and successful.

RED VELVET, by Lolita Chakrabarti, a staged reading (admission free) on Saturday, September 10, 2016, 2pm, at the Walters Art Museum, 600 N. Charles Street.  Directed by Shirley Basfield Dunlap. 

aldridgeRed Velvet recounts the life and career of the African-American actor Ira Aldridge, who is credited with breaking European theatre’s color line when he began performing in England in 1826.  Across the Atlantic, he is remembered for his portrayals of Othello and other Shakespearean roles, yet his story is mostly forgotten here in the country of his birth. Red Velvet, a play by Lolita Chakrabarti, received its premiere in London in 2012. Her husband, the actor Adrian Lester, portrayed Aldridge. The play debuted in New York in 2014. Our director, Shirley Basfield Dunlap, has extensive professional credits including productions of Fences;  Having Our Say: The Delaney Sisters’ First 100 Years; A Raisin in the Sun; and From the Mississippi Delta.  She is Associate Professor and Coordinator of Theater Arts at Morgan State University, and a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. DunlapImmediately after the reading, we will follow Jo Briggs, Associate Curator of 18th- and 19th-Century Art, into the galleries to see a rare portrait of Ira Aldridge owned by The Walters Art Museum. This promises to be a moving afternoon of performance and art.  (Image courtesy of The Walters Art Museum.) 


RENAISSANCE, RACE, and OTHELLO TODAY, with Ayanna Thompson, Ph.D., Professor of English at George Washington University, on Saturday, September 17, 2016, 6:30pm to 7:30pm, in our theater at 7 S. Calvert Street, Baltimore.Ayanna-Thompson-for-web

Dr. Thompson is a leading scholar whose research areas include colorblind casting and the handling of race in past and contemporary performances of Renaissance plays, including Shakespeare’s works. She is the author of the new introduction to The Arden Shakespeare’s Othello, second edition, just published in April. She also wrote the introduction to the Bloomsbury edition of the play Red Velvet. She is a Professor of English at George Washington University, and a Marylander. Please join us in welcoming her  to our theater for a lively conversation on September 17, 2016,  immediately before the 8pm performance of Othello.  The pre-show conversation is free. The performance is ticketed. Students are welcome and student-priced tickets will be available for this performance.

DESDEMONA, by Nobel Prize laureate Toni Morrison, a staged reading (admission free), at 3pm on Saturday, September 24, 2016,  in our booth at the Baltimore Book Festival.for-web-DesdemonaCover

Through the voices of the women in Shakespeare’s Othello, Ms. Morrison examines issues of gender, status, war,  mixed marriage, and love.  The play was her response to a challenge from the acclaimed stage director Peter Sellars, who asked her whether Shakespeare’s Othello remains relevant today. Ms. Morrison re-imagined the story of Desdemona, allowing her “to speak from the grave about the traumas of race, class, gender, war — and the transformative power of love.” Desdemona was a literary and musical collaboration between Ms. Morrison and the Malian singer Rokia Traore, who contributed lyrics and original music.  Our director is Ty Hallmark. The play was first performed in Vienna, Austria, and published in 2011 by Oberon Books with a forward by Mr. Sellars. We’ll be in our Baltimore Book Festival booth, located near the Baltimore Visitors Center, September 23-24-25, 2016, from 11am to 7pm. Stop by for the reading, and for ticket giveaways, games, sonnets and sword fighting demonstrations.  

SCHOOL MATINEES, at 10am on Thursday, Sept. 29,  and Thursday, Oct. 6. 

Tell a teacher: School group tickets include moderated talkbacks with the actors immediately following the play.  For school group reservations, call  410-244-8571, Ext. 113, or click here to send email to Ron Heneghan, Director of Community Engagement.

Questions? Call the Box Office at 410-244-8570 or send an email CLICK HERE


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