College Media Network

The Observer

The Student Newspaper of Case Western Reserve University
  • Home
  • News
    • Sports
      • Opinion
        • Focus
          • About Us
            • Info
            • Staff
          • Archives
          • Options
            • Login
            • Register
            • Write to the Editor
            • Syndication
            • Search
          • New Features
            • Plan Spring Break!
            • Learn about your Finances
          • Advertising

          Eldred Theater re-imagines Othello for intense production

          All of CWRU's a stage: weekend theater productions

          Kelly McCready

          Issue date: 4/9/10 Section: Focus
          • Print
          • Email
          • Page 1 of 2 next >
          Newlyweds Othello (Antuane Rogers) and Desdemona (Caroline Santa) enjoy their love while the backstabbing Iago (Jim Tomola) looms behind.
          Newlyweds Othello (Antuane Rogers) and Desdemona (Caroline Santa) enjoy their love while the backstabbing Iago (Jim Tomola) looms behind.
          [Click to enlarge]
          In the last play of its season, Eldred Theater brings Othello to life with an exhilarating production that delves into the depths of human psychology. Shakespeare was clearly a man ahead of his time, exploring racism, women's rights, jealousy, adultery, deception, love, and manipulation in this tragedy. Throw in sword fights, murder, a villain you love to hate, stellar acting and you've got a show that is captivating, invigorating, and exciting.

          Othello was originally set in the 1500s during the wars between Venice and the Ottoman Empire, but this production brings a new spark to the play in its unique concept. Picture this: Othello set in British colonial South Africa during the Boer Wars. Director Jerrold Scott explained, "It works because we can see how little race relations have changed from 1603 to nearly 300 years later, when the Boer Wars occurred."

          Shakespeare also tackles other relevant issues like women's rights. In one scene in particular, the feisty Emilia attempts to convince Desdemona that men must respect women as equals. The purposeful and effective adaptation of this production not only illuminates the issues of racism and women's rights in a new way, but speaks to how Shakespeare transcends time and place.

          The play tells the story of an African Moor, Othello (Antuane Rogers), and his relationship with a European woman, Desdemona (Caroline Santa). In addition to the immediate social challenges, Othello also falls victim to the manipulation of the diabolical and brilliant Iago (Jim Tomola). A host of other characters also inadvertently contribute to demise of Othello.

          Usually, the last production of Eldred's season is the largest, and Othello is no different. Designer Michael Roesch has created a large raked set similar to those of Elizabethan theaters. Stage manager Kelly Opalko said, "The rake has proven to be a challenge, but everyone have done a great job of adapting to this historically-accurate piece. Beside the language, this was probably the biggest challenge."
          Page 1 of 2 next >

          Article Tools

          Be the first to comment on this story

          In This Issue


          • Can you name this place?
          • Cleveland Institute of Art announces new president
          • Have you heard about The Confused Greenies
          • Relay For Life hoping for success as event begins today
          • Undergraduate Student Government inaugurations bring new faces, new initiatives


          • For Gobies, this weekend is first step to goal
          • Howe's love of game grows
          • Smetona's workouts work out
          • Spartan Spotlight: Jon Edmunds
          • Spartans drop 13th and 14th straight to Wooster
          • Spartans go 2-2 against Wolverines, Lords
          • Spartans near best win total in school history
          • Whalen auditions for Browns, Mangini
          • When fans care


          • City boasts unusual outdoor spaces for observing Cleveland in springtime
          • Editorial: Although meal plan policy remains unchanged, policy seems fundamentally flawed
          • Letters to the editor: Greek Life opportunities
          • Political leaders are ill-equipped to decide when wars are "just"
          • Sticks and stones: bullying still hurts, but can be stopped with just one word
          • What's your favorite flower?


          • August: Osage County astonishes audiences
          • International Conference on Narrative successful and engaging
          • Just a Perfect Day
          • Pokémon returns to Nintendo DS with best games in years
          • Rompers: this season's divisive trend
          • Safety First
          • Take a picture, It'll Last Longer: CIA student photo exhibition
          • The Buzz
          • Tremont: The A-list of Cleveland's bars
          National College Advertising and Marketing | Privacy Policy (9/9/09) | Terms of Use (9/9/09)
          Content Submission Agreement (8/23/07) | Copyright Compliance Policy (4/27/09) | RSS Terms of Use



          This Week's Front Page

          Download Print Edition PDF