It's important for a troupe called Fringe to occasionally choose a play whose roots belong to a more experimental realm. And so last year we took a risk with Toni Morrison's surreal performance piece, Desdemona. The New York Times praised Morrison's play as having “a prose so precise and charged with pain and wonder that it becomes poetry.”
Desdemona was written in 2010 and toured the Fringe circuit in 2011 with several musicians and only one actor. She played all the roles including Othello. Our production reimagined the play. We added multimedia visuals and dance. We also expanded the cast but kept the idea of using a female actor to play Othello. The casting gave the play a visual duality that was both intriguing and sensual.
The play moves fluidly thru time and space - beyond time and space. It is the after life of the characters in Shakespeare's Othello: the mothers, the maid Barbary, Emilia, Cassius, and of course, Othello and Desdemona.
Thank you to choreographer Shelia Bellefleur and yoga instructor Gretchen Mills, light designer RJ Conn, videographer Aramis Ikatu, and a team of video editors (who moonlighted as actors) Martha Hooten, Su Nubia, and Daashia Cochran.
-Rebecca Tomlinson, Director