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The A&T Register

The Student News Site of North Carolina A&T State University

The A&T Register

The Student News Site of North Carolina A&T State University

The A&T Register

N.C. A&T Theatre will perform Shakespeare’s ‘Othello’ for the first time


N.C. A&T’s theater department will be putting on a new production titled Othello, this week. Written by the infamous playwright William Shakespeare, the production is a tragedy that dives deep to give an intimate look into a family tragedy.

N.C. A&T alum Venecia Boone is the director of Othello. Boone works closely alongside current theater students and throughout the department, pouring back into a program that means so much to her.

“It’s been great,” Boone said. “I graduated and got my BFA from here and it’s amazing because I feel like I’m giving back to the same place that poured into me.”

This will be the first time Othello will be performed at N.C. A&T and only the second time a full-length classical piece will be performed, with ‘Taming of the Shrew’ being the first.

With a twist of irony, Othello seems to already have a deeper connection to the theater department that many may be unaware of.

“Paul Robeson is famously known for playing Othello, and this is the Paul Robeson theater,” Boone explained. “So, it’s really cool to have that come full circle.”

Preparations for the show began at the start of the semester, in January. The actors and production team have put a lot of effort and preparation into the show, with some practices running for over four hours, every day.

Centered around Othello, a Black general, the play highlights elements of jealousy, betrayal, deceit, power and most importantly, drama.

The play gives an inside look into the manipulative mind games that affect Othello and his life; played upon him by his most trusted confidant, Lago.

Christian Martin, a recent graduate from the theater program here at A&T, plays the main character Othello. He previously performed last spring in the production of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

Although this is not his first production, Othello as a character is very different from many of the roles he has previously held.

“Unlike the last play, Othello is more emotive,” Martin said. “So I’m most excited to see [people’s] reactions.

Composing such a production has been extensive and thoroughly planned; with even the knowledge of an expert within Shakespeare being brought in.

Dr. Gregory Meyerson is an English professor at N.C. A&T and he has been teaching Shakespeare in the English department for about seven years.

“I was asked to come to talk to the cast,” Dr. Meyerson said. “I focus a whole lot on analyzing the language, metaphors, ironies, split selves in the characters, and things like that. I don’t know much about performance, so I’ve really enjoyed this, this is new to me. I’ve learned more from the kids.”

The collaboration process for Othello has been a supportive group of cast members. Current students and alumni have come together to put on a show that they hope will reflect the hard work they have put into the play.

On the production side, the stage managers senior theater student LaTasha Glover and sophomore theater student Jadyn McCoy, are both actors, but this will be their first time working as stage managers for a production.

“This is my first-time stage managing in anything, so it was a really good experience to learn from,” Glover said. “I think my leadership skills have gotten better, usually I’m the actor so I’m taking direction, but this time I’m leading, so that has helped me.”

McCoy has also felt the support of the cast as a first-time stage manager.

“The whole cast is really just supportive because it is something so new and it is a challenge for all of us, that we do work so much harder for this,” McCoy said. “So everyone has been super supportive of each other. We have been supporting each other as our first-time stage managing.”

Othello is set to run from February 23rd to the 26th at the Paul Robeson Theater in N.C. A&T’s campus. A&T students are free with their Aggie One Card. For non-A&T students, to purchase tickets, visit the website or call 336-334-7749.

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