Thursday, September 28th, 2017...4:10 pmRachel Lockwood

Othello in a New Light

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I would be interested to see Othello in the context of a podcast. I would have the moderator of the podcast be a neutral player who is not related to the plot at all. The moderator would then ask questions to the “guests” on the show (the characters in the play) whose names would be modified to align with more normal names of current time. These questions asked by the moderator would work to reveal the general plot of the play. However, I would want each of the guests on the show (characters in the play) to remain completely true to the character’s traits within the play. For instance, I would have the person acting as Iago remain completely crude in his answers regarding the person playing Othello and the women in the play. The person playing Othello would still come across as wise, confident, and worldly. The people acting in the role of the men would think of the women in the same regard as they do in the play (as “fair, gentle, obedient creatures”). In general, this podcast would be the play set in a real life setting. These actors would essentially be telling the story as if it happened to them, with the exact same plot and character traits that are present in the play, in real life.

I chose this directorial change because I was interested in knowing how the audience of this podcast would react. As we were discussing in class on Tuesday, people who speak in crude language about something tend to be followed because their audiences feel as though they are being brutally honest and not hiding any piece of information from them. Which characters in this podcast be supported- Othello, Iago, Desdemona? Would people be supportive of Iago’s honesty, or would they call him out on his racism and sexism? Would people defend Othello? In the current social and political climate, I think it is hard to tell how people might react.



2 Comments

  •   Professor Seiler
    September 29th, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    Rachel–this is a terrific idea: a podcast with a “neutral” host would have the benefit (?) of removing the visual spectacle of the play–and of race in the play–from center stage, so to speak. The podcast would amplify dialogue as characterization and as the carrier of broad cultural meanings in the play.

  • I would definitely listen to this podcast. I think it would be interesting to explore Desdemona’s reactions to the other characters, hopefully in the form of her commentary on Othello and Iago’s actions as the story is retold told.

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