“Thou art false as hell!” Othello exclaimed, as he shook his wife vigorously. Now you wonder why a person would do such a thing to his wife, especially when nowadays we frown upon spousal abuse. Well, if you want to know, either read the play or watch the play at our local community college. Opening night was a big hit with a total of almost one hundred people. On the second night only fifty came, could this be a prediction of what is to come, or just a lack in attention-grabbing plays?
Well, that or maybe students cannot handle Shakespearean plays and their elaborate wordings.
The play revolves around Othello who is the Black Moore, the highest position of military General in Venice. Othello fell in love with the beautiful Desdemona, and eloped with her one dark night, and against the wishes of others, even her father. They married anyway, after the father of Desdemona gave his blessing. After a failed attempt of the jealous Venetian soldier, Roderigo, tried to rid himself of Othello in order to snatch away Desdemona, and despite everyone knowing at this point what happens in the end, it’s still emotional, and affectionate; leaving no dry eye in the house.
Having seen the play once before in a professional performance, I thought the play was very well done. I don’t recall Othello being of light complexion, but it worked out just fine. There were scenes that made several of the audience laugh and others cry.
Wheeler chose a great cast to play the main roles. Although at times the actors were a bit overbearing. On occasions the main character was a bit obnoxious with his overly exaggerated screams of anger, which while adding to the emotional aspect of the play, were still at times over the top. In other cases the actors were a bit stagnant and didn’t add to the scene. Most noticeable, the soldiers in the background pulled the mannequin-act in the background of one scene, while at least in all the other, the actors chose to talk or move about. Finally, there were times that the actors forgot their lines or they stuttered or repeated themselves trying to get their bearings when they forgot. Overall I felt that for the first night, the actors did pretty well, and everything before mentioned, is to come on the opening night. I suggest watching it if you feel up to the challenge of watching a great Shakespearean play produced by great actors, and a great director.
Although, what is it that the students want to watch? I agree Shakespearean plays are the best ones to play, but what are the students really wanting to see? I love Shakespearean plays, but I guess some students want to see something different. If I were to choose, I would go for something more raunchy or active with the students, something like Rocky Horror picture show, RENT, and even Repo: The Genetic Opera. Anything that allows the students to act in different styles other than those of Shakespeare’s.
All in all, the play was worth watching, and I would strongly advise others to see it, fanatics or not. Shakespearean plays touch everyone in a way that only the person watching can explain, and audience member Carlos Guzman had this to say, “I had no intention going, but I was told to go, I am not a fan of Shakespearean plays, but after watching Othello, I actually knew what it was like being Othello, I understood what he was feeling, which had me at the edge of my seat.” As you can see even a non-fan of the plays can relate to what most plays are about.