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.
Why It’s For YouPerhaps 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 ItFor 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?
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.
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).
83 Degrees takes on The Thanksgiving Play and Jobsite’s part in the Tampa Bay theatre scene.
- 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
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