Thursday, June 09, 2005

2005 is the year of Othello, I've seen the play twice this year, Wednesday evening at California Shakespeare Theater an outdoor theatre near the City of Orinda and May 22nd at Theatre Rhino in San Francisco by the Impact Theatre. While I knew the basic plot of Othello I didn't know to subtleties of the play. For me Iago is really the central character of the play, his hatred of Othello and his actions made his character the most interesting and memorable. Seeing two interpretations of the play provided me with two portrayals of Iago, actors using the same dialog to prevent this character in completely different styles of menace.

Both presentations modernize the clothing, added certain touches, elements to the play, but kept Shakespeare's words. The California Shakespeare Theatre production was quite good the actors and staging were wonderful. Their production gives Othello more character and presents
his jealousy with much more power than Impact's

The Impact Theatre actors also gave good performances, especially Iago.
I found the direction tighter in their production and this gave the end an intensity I felt missing from the California Shakespeare Theatre presentation. The Impact's production changed the genre of Othello to female, which didn't add anything to the story as Othello male of female is being hoodwink by Iago and follows his/her path to tragedy.


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