Give Me Moor

Theater fans in Washington who have been craving Moor finally have it with two mountings of the William Shakespeare tragedy of race, love and betrayal, Othello. Set in Venice, the story unfolds as the high ranking general Othello promotes Michael Cassio over Iago, who thinks he is more deserving of the position of personal lieutenant. As recourse Iago, using people as pawns including Othello’s dear wife Desdemona, puts a plan in motion against Othello. In the end the struggle over power and prowess ends with no winners. It is a tale that can certainly hit home in the District.

The delectable treat for Washington audiences is not only do they have the opportunity to see one of the theater world’s most captivating stories but that they have the chance to see it interpreted in two very distinct ways. The current production at the Elizabethan Theatre inside The Folger Shakespeare Library that runs through December 4 offers a solid traditional interpretation under the direction of Robert Richmond. It sticks to the script Shakespeare penned centuries ago and unravels with the famous lines that have become so familiar.

Take note, take note, O world,
To be direct and honest is not safe.”

In contrast, as a part of their continued Speak No More – Silent Shakespeare Festival the Synetic Theater is presenting their dynamic take on Othello through November 6 with no dialogue. Using their hallmark of imaginative physical theater that combines music, movement and text the Synetic Theater production mesmerizes as it conveys the story in action and visuals. With a stellar cast of performers that includes Helen Hayes Award winners Roger Payano as Othello, Salma Shaw as Desdemona and Scott Brown in the role of Cassio, direction by Paata Tsikurishvili and choreography by Irina Tsikurishvili the production is complete and will entice you to visit the Synetic Theater for even more experiences.

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