By William Shakespeare

Directed by David M. Jenkins

Extended! Jan. 11 – Feb. 9, 2019

Tickets start at: $29.50

Preview Performances: Jan. 9 – 10 | Tickets start at: $18

Shimberg Playhouse, Straz Center for the Performing Arts

<em>Othello</em> is made possible in part by a generous gift from The Saunders Foundation

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What It's About

Backstabbing politicians, two-faced frenemies, gaslighting, treachery, true love and the never-ending cultural complications of a “black ram tupping a white ewe,” Shakespeare’s Othello might as well be talking about this year’s headlines. And in this production, it does. Othello features Jobsite’s signature modern spin on a favorite Shakespeare play. Looking for a full synopsis and advice for enjoying Shakespeare?

Why It’s For You

Perhaps you’ve always struggled to find Shakespeare accessible, relevant, or (let’s be honest) even intelligible. Perhaps you’re a True Believer Bardophile. We’ve got you covered either way! For well over a decade and a half we’ve produced award-winning, audience-adored productions of Shakespeare set in all manner of times and places. This modern-day setting will feel completely ripped-from-the-headlines, focusing on more than just the black-white/east-west binary central to the original plot.

Why We Chose It

For the past few years we’ve focused on Shakespearean comedies and romances, so we were itching to dig into another tragedy. Seeing this on the county reading list for high schools, we were immediately excited for the opportunity to bring these epic characters and rich language to life in a meaningful and relevant way for them. In terms of the play’s racial politics, we have an opportunity to let people think about how far we’ve maybe (or maybe not) come by telling a classic story given new context. In our telling of the story the focus is not simply that Othello is the Other (whether we want to call him black, Muslim, or just not-European) but that he’s the Other and in charge. Think of today’s conversations about notions of privilege and fragility, is there a better case study than Iago?


Jan. 25

There will be a post-show talkback after the Fri., Jan. 25 performance with the director and cast. Specially-priced tickets to this performance are also being offered in celebration of Fourth Friday Tampa.

Feb. 3

Join the director, cast, and a guest speaker TBA after the Sun., Feb. 3 performance of Othello for a talk about Jobsite’s production, the play’s themes, and how a play written in 1604 is still so troublingly relevant today. A ticket to that afternoon’s matinee is not required for entry. People interested in only attending the talk should be queued up in front of the Shimberg Playhouse by 6:30pm. Once the theater chamber empties of ticket-holders who do not wish to stay, guests coming for just the talk will be allowed in. Michelle Hughes Miller is Associate Professor in Women’s and Gender Studies at USF. She studies constructions of motherhood in law and policy and systemic responses to violence against women. In 2017 she co-edited Bad Mothers: Representations, Regulations and Responses (Demeter) and Addressing Violence Against Women on College Campuses (Temple).
(L-R) Robert Richards Jr. and Giles Davies in Jobsite's Othello. (Photo by Pritchard Photography.)
(L-R) Robert Richards Jr. and Giles Davies in Jobsite's Othello. (Photo by Pritchard Photography.)

Critic Reviews

there has never been a more likable and splendidly sinister Iago as Giles Davies in Jobsite Theater's winning production of OTHELLO ... this production works because so many of the actors step up to Davies' greatness ... an exciting piece of theater, guaranteed to accelerate your heart rate ... It's been days, and I'm still haunted .... as exciting as Shakespeare gets ... an edge-of-your-seat thriller. – BroadwayWorld

What holds up, especially in Jobsite’s production, is how the play dramatizes white constructions of blackness ... What saves this production from Shakespeare is its cast. In the first half, Robert Richards Jr.’s Othello gushes with joy at his newfound love. In the second, he sweats and snorts with betrayed rage. Richards and Tatiana Baccari as Desdemona spark with sexy chemistry. Jobsite veteran Giles Davies, as Iago, slithers around the minimalist wood-frame set with a long French braid like a rattlesnake down his back. – Creative Loafing


Cast & Crew

  • David M. Jenkins – Director
  • Matthew Ray – Stage Manager


  • Cornelio Aguilera – Roderigo
  • Tatiana Baccari – Desdemona
  • Salem Brophy – Lodovico/Soldier
  • Giles Davies – Iago
  • Chelsea Hooker – Bianca
  • Michael C. McGreevy – Duke of Venice/Gratiano
  • Joseph Michael-Kenneth – Cassio
  • Nancy Mizzell – Senator/Soldier
  • Robert Richards Jr. – Othello
  • Katrina Stevenson – Emilia
  • Greg Thompson – Brabantio/Montano


  • Giles Davies – Text Consultant and Fight Choreographer
  • Jeremy Douglass – Composer
  • David M. Jenkins – Dramaturg
  • Brian Smallheer – Scenic and Lighting Designer
  • Katrina Stevenson – Costume Designer

Patron Reviews

The production of Othello was powerful and insightful as well. Seeing it performed for the first time fleshed out the action in a believable way. The anguish felt by all the characters came through in the nearly pitch-perfect performances by all the actors. The theatre-in-the-round square works beautifully here, effectively used by the brilliant Iago given to us by the always kinetic, shapeshifting talent of Giles Davies. Addressing his soliloquies to all four sides of the audience in turn pulled us into Iago’s depraved mind – unwillingly yet compelled to watch, even laughing at his jokes and numerous sexual innuendos. The latter offer a key to Iago’s anger that has twisted his spirit into embracing only nihilism and total obliteration of life. Bravo, you’ve got a hit. – Brian Kelly

We loved Othello! Excellent casting and they didn’t miss a beat the entire show. My 14 year old daughter was initially afraid she wasn’t going to be able to understand what was going on (“I don’t think I like Shakespeare.”) but she loved it and decided she just didn’t like reading Shakespeare. Today we had a 20 minute discussion about Iago and how he really is the worst kind of villain because he’s just so realistic even today. Kudos to everyone on a winner of a show! – Lorinda Gamson

@jobsitetheater is a gift to the Tampa Bay area. Thank you for your excellent offerings, including your yearly goodness from Shakespeare. Blessings and Break Bones on your creative endeavors. – revlisad

Great job last night, very well acted, very powerful and moving – fictionalrealitycosplay

Othello was the best Shakespeare Jobsite has done since Pericles. Giles was great as always, and really the play should be called Iago … Though I have some issues with Othello going from confident military commander to basket case at the merest whisper from Iago and the immediate histrionics Robert Richards Jr. rose to the occasion for the final scene which was absolutely riveting. – David Hood

Exceptional ! Don’t miss it – Brenda Delgado Ordetx

Powerful production, kudos to cast and crew. Break Legs for the rest of the run! – Beth Hyde – Beth Hyde-Hood

Wow! What a show Jobsite Theater. Thanks! – Brigit Hart

“This whole Shakespeare thing” is wonderful and as relevant today as it was in 1603. Love, prejudice, deceit, jealously, rage , revenge and despair… we humans don’t seem to have changed much in 400 years! The actors were marvelous and it’s a treat being so close to the action and emotion. We can’t wait for the next one. – Margaret Nolan Mays

Congrats for today’s fine performance. – Hugh Timoney

This show was amazing! The whole cast was wonderful, but you can’t make Othello work without a great Iago, and you definitely have that. The actor playing Iago was spot-on. I was so impressed. – Cassie Robertson

I love the energy even the second time around!!! – Jacqueline Nobles Awesome

We absolutely LOVED LOVED LOVED the show. Have encouraged friends and family to go too! The use of the stage and the room with such a large class was impressive and I was in tears at the end – moved and speechless by the performances. Our teenage son (16) really enjoyed it as well. Cheers to a great run with Othello! – Leanne Otero

Thank you again for this wonderful production that continues to speak to all generations. Just to be exposed to the diction of these hundreds of years old dialogue is a treat and to bring it to us with young (and older) actors that bring the passion to these emotions is wonderful. Especially your villain, whom I already admired in earlier productions (Caliban) embodied his role. His diction is beautiful as are his facial expressions. What a great set of actors! So nice to see they are on stage and given opportunity to perform classical theater. The military fatigues brought me back in time (twenty years, but surely also now) to think about the complicated relationships and violence and jealousy while my husband was having to deal with those serving under him and at the time in the 80s the military becoming quite forceful prosecuting marital fallouts. Emotions of soldiers impacted by lots of extra stress. The actor playing Othello was excellent in his emotions and presentation … the play’s production is as always with your theater, absolutely wonderful. – Susanne Neilsen

I saw Othello last night and loved it!! I’ll definitely be back to see Complete Works! ❤️Please more Shakespeare! – johnnyjedi7

Thoroughly enjoyed the talkback on Friday. Very informative regarding reasons to still be telling this story as well the casts thoughts on their characters – monkeysue1278

I saw it on Thursday… great performance! – Amanda Patanow

Wow! What a show Jobsite Theater. Thanks! – Briget Hart

Excellent production tonight. Grab some tickets and see it! – Melissa Grant Alton

The show was amazing! Great job – Lisa Roland Faust

Very intense play. Excellent performances by the whole cast – Dwayne DeLong

A fantastic performance addressing a universal theme. – Linda Good Arkwright

Attending the show yesterday was worth going out in the wind, rain and cold for. Enthralling production ! – Vickie Lynne

So intense! Bravo! – Lillian Almodovar

I was able to go Friday night and was blown away! Can’t wait for the next production. – Mindy Ecob

An incredible production. Do see it. – Michelle Wilder Larson

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