Theater Troupe 5765 put a modern twist on Shakespeare’s Othello
BY STELLA DOMEC
March 14, 2018
Jealousy, love, and hate are all key parts of William Shakespeare’s play Othello, which DSA’s theater department is making modern.
Though it was written centuries ago, many students feel that Othello’s themes still resonate today.
“It’s so fantastic that a play that is over 400 years old can at the same time be so contemporary and heartbreaking,” Oliver Egger who played Iago, the villain in the play, said.
Othello’s plot follows Iago, a man who tries to help his friend Roderigo make a girl, Desdemona, fall in love with him. However, Desdemona is secretly married to Othello, a general who commands over Iago in the army, and who Iago despises for promoting Cassio, a lieutenant, instead of him.
“The show is about the destructive quality of jealousy both from Othello and Iago,” Egger continued, “I want to tell the audience what jealousy can do and how it can lead to the downfall of people we love.”
Jealousy shows up a lot in this production, with each character jealous of another, which caused most of the conflict in the story.
“Most characters in the play have so much depth that it’s crazy to understand what goes through their heads,” Zach Woodard, who played Othello, said. “The way they speak, what they believe in, and their thought process is just so amazing to me.”
The main characters in Othello consist of Othello(played by Zach Woodard), the story’s protagonist, Iago(Oliver Egger), the villain of the story, and Desdemona(Christina Boxberger), Othello’s wife, and Cassio(Sam Henry), Othello’s lieutenant who Iago resents.
“In my opinion, the best part of this show is the cast. We have such an amazing array of members to portray these characters and their portrayals are unique and different,” Woodard explained.
Though the play was traditionally set in the sixteenth century, DSA’s theater troupe decided to give it a more modern look.
The script and plot are still Shakespearean, but the costumes and set have been changed to make the setting in the twenty-first century.
“We wanted the show to be more modern day, so we made the military uniforms into modern fatigues instead of uniforms from Shakespeare’s time,” Brooke Davies, head of costumes for the production, said.
Shakespeare’s themes of jealousy and betrayal are still as relevant today as they were years ago, and the cast and crew hopes that the audience can see how this play still relates to them.
“We want to show how it is very easy to be manipulated, so always watch your back. We also want to show how love can bring out the best and worst of someone,” Dylan Gibson, who played Roderigo, said.
Woodard agreed, saying that he hopes to show the audience that “jealousy moves mountains,” as well as how the theme of jealousy and love “play hand in hand in this production.”
Even though the performances were delayed a week because of a lead cast member’s illness, the show must go on, and the cast and crew of Othell0 are excited to present it to the rest of the school.
“The show is really beautiful with an amazing director, Leo Egger, and an incredible stage manager, Anna Meyer. The cast and crew are amazing. The whole show is amazing and I can't wait for audiences to see it!” Gibson finished.
Photos courtesy of Zach Hersh