Othello: The Experience

For the UAS Whalesong
For the past month, Perseverance Theater has been putting on a stage performance of Shakespeare’s famous tragedy Othello. I attended the performance in an attempt to branch out from my usual cinematic theater experience, and also because I won a free ticket at Campus Kickoff earlier this year. So, one rainy night that didn’t really differ from the usual kind of Juneau night in any way, I headed downtown with my friends to see if I could become a more culturally edified person.
My recollection of Othello was fairly limited going in. I remembered reading the play in high school – a “Shakespeare Made Easy” version with the original convoluted English on one page and the modern translation on the other. I also remembered that the general gist of the plot (sorry about spoilers, but it’s been out for a couple hundred years now) was that a guy named Iago works his hardest to break up the Moorish general Othello and Othello’s new wife, Desdemona. This culminates in Othello flying into a jealous rage and murdering Desdemona, then having Immediate Regret and killing himself. Other than that, though, I only really recalled dialogue, so I was interested to see what the Perseverance Theater had in store for me.
The first thing I noticed upon entering the theater was that the stage was fairly empty for a play. It was just a sort of dark blue square, with doors in the walls. This immediately tipped me off: this play was going to involve a lot of Monologues. It seems to me like there are two kinds of plays – ones where the characters move around and do stuff in different settings, like Pirates of Penzance, and then there are ones where the characters mostly just stand around talking to each other and to the audience. Othello ominously promised to be one of the latter. Continue reading “Othello: The Experience”