Debra Ann Byrd as Othello Photo Credit: © Hubert Williams 2015
Audacity [ôˈdasədē] NOUN: the willingness to take bold risks. Take Wings and Soar (TWAS) and New Heritage Theatre Group (NHTG) has audacity! These two theatre groups collaborated to produce an all women version of William Shakespeare’s Othello. The play was first performed in 1604 in England with the title, “The Moor of Venice.” This time the basement of the St. James church at 141st street and St. Nicholas Avenue (The Dorothy Maynor Theatre) is 17th century Venice and Cyprus. TWAS and NHTG’S 2015 version, most of the time, hits the mark that any successful production might hope for. In addition, #DiversityOnStage is apparent in this production, which is what we love to see here on Arts In Color!
Sheldon Best & Natalie Paul as the star-crossed lovers Romeo & Juliet
All the passion and romance you’d expect to see from Romeo & Juliet, but with a bit more pizzazz! Under the inspired direction of Justin Emeka, a diverse cast of wonderfully talented actors capitalize on bringing ‘ethnic realness’ to this well known Shakespeare tragedy. Emeka’s modernizing concept works beautifully and is especially relevant for today’s audience!
I had a chance to interview two Classical Theatre of Harlem cast members earlier last week and wanted to share them with you! If you want more info on the production, check out my thoughts on CTH’s take on this classic tale of a Midsummer Night’s Dream. After the interview keep reading to learn more about the careers of these two lovely ladies!