The City Theatre Company will continue its 2013 theatre season with William Shakespeare's Othello, the Moor of Venice from February 21- March 17 at City Theatre. CTC's Jeff Hinkle, who previously directed Romeo and Juliet, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Hamlet, leads with a dynamic and beautiful interpretation of this timeless, tragic tale of love, deceit, jealousy and revenge.
Often called Shakespeare's most epic yet intimate tragedy, Othello's realm is not of kingdoms and politics but marriage, honor and faithfulness. Othello, an esteemed general in the service of Venice and a Moor, has recently wed Desdemona, the daughter of a senator. When he promotes Michael Cassio to be his lieutenant, the ambitious Iago is enraged and, in his jealousy, seeks to ruin both men at all cost. Othello becomes a man torn as he aspires to belong to Desdemona's world and instead becomes victim to its bigotry and his own monstrous terrors. The play's messages are not soon forgotten.
"It is Shakespeare's greatest poetry with some of most powerfully dramatic scenes ever written" mentions director Hinkle. "In Othello, we have a passionate marriage and friendships which are ultimately destroyed. But we also have bigotry and hatred that show how fragile our lives really are in the relationships with those around us." The first recorded performance of The Moor of Venice was in 1604 performed by the King's Men playing company, of which King James I was patron and Shakespeare was co-owner, playwright in residence and a company actor. Since then, Othello's story has proven to be lasting and has seen hundreds of theatre productions, been adapted into several films, as well as a number of operas and ballets with countless actors playing the title role including Richard Burton, Laurence Olivier, Paul Robeson, Anthony Hopkins, Patrick Stewart and Laurence Fishburne.
For CTC, the title role will be played by Trevor Bissell, who has done impressive work with the company including major roles in Romeo and Juliet and Medea. Desdemona and arch-nemesis Iago will be played by CTC newcomers Laura Kathleen Artesi and Andrew Bosworth. Cast also includes Lindsay McKenna, Clay Avery, Mario Silva, Rachel Collier, Shannon Francis, Zach Braver, Mike Dellens, DeWayne Mangan, Dave Yakubik and Allegra Fox. This is a rare opportunity to see Othello professionally staged in Austin and the first time that a full-length production has been done in many years.
The City Theatre Company is an Austin-based not for profit arts organization and is sponsored in part by the Austin Creative Alliance and the Austin Cultural Arts Division. Founded in 2006, the company has been recognized by the Austin Critics Table Awards, the B. Iden Payne Awards and was twice voted "Best Theatre Company" by Austin- American Statesman's Austin 360. CTC is dedicated in providing quality theatre experience and entertainment for Austin artists and its community.