Posts Tagged: Othello

The irony of the American Moor

‘American Moor’ playwright and actor Keith Hamilton Cobb writes about speaking back to Shakespeare, White American Theater, and frameworks of privilege.


Excerpt ⁠— Keith Hamilton Cobb’s ‘American Moor’: An introduction by Kim Hall

At the heart of Keith Hamilton Cobb’s one-man play American Moor are explorations of blackness, racial dynamics in American theater, “ownership” of Shakespeare, and the subtext of Othello. He has performed the play across the United States, including an off-Broadway run in 2019, and now the script has been published by Methuen Drama: Keith Hamilton… Continue Reading »


Shakespeare and opera: Jealousy and tragedy in Verdi’s Otello

I find it fascinating that Verdi’s last two operas were both inspired by Shakespeare: Otello (1887) and Falstaff (1893), yet they are very different in story, style, and tone. Verdi looked to the Bard’s plays of Othello (1604) and the Merry Wives of Windsor (1600), plus the Henry plays, as a catalyst. There are plenty… Continue Reading »



Shakespeare, improvisation, and the art of rhetoric

Shakespeare characters like Viola and Iago are masters of improvisation, says Folger Director MIchael Witmore in this excerpt from the 2017 Shakespeare’s Birthday Lecture.



Comparing Timon of Athens with Iago

Timon of Athens vs. Iago! Actors Ian Merrill Peakes and Louis Butelli discuss these Shakespeare characters, their degree of self-awareness, and their villain status.



Ira Aldridge takes the stage

Since their revival by David Garrick in the early eighteenth century, Shakespeare and his plays have always generated a certain aura of celebrity, sometimes referred to as “Bardolatry.” Following in the footsteps of Garrick, stage actors regularly rose to stardom on the strength of their Shakespearean performances, and would continue to play their “signature” roles… Continue Reading »


Kim Hall: Bringing African American experiences to Shakespeare

Paul Robeson was the first modern African American to perform Shakespeare—to perform Othello, and he talks in his letters and in his essays about bringing his experiences as a student in a white arena, his experiences with racism, to the performance. So for him as an actor, he brought his experience as an African American in a racist society to this performance of Othello, a black man in a racist society. Other actors who saw him said it was like seeing Othello for the first time.