April 15—May 29, 2016
Othello, in the midst of an identity crisis, examines and rejects his status as a servant of the Venetian State. Hungry for political power, he experiments with the idea of self-identifying as white. Desdemona, a Lolita trapped in a caged bed, is a spoiled brat with a mind of her own and a hunger for fame. She’s still deeply in lust for the lover she’s lost, while he struggles with racism and white privilege. Egged on by Iago, hovering like a punk-rock bird of prey, and a sassy, transgender Emilia, this is a love story that, just as in Shakespeare, is going to end badly.
LA TIMES REVIEW:
Playwright, producer and production designer Charles A. Duncombe doesn’t so much deconstruct the tragedy of a noble Moor undone by manipulated jealousy as turn its interior workings into an irreverent dissertation on the post-millennial landscape… With director Frédérique Michel and her valiant cast maintaining a jagged emotional pull beneath the High Performance austerity, “Othello/Desdemona” isn’t exactly shy about upending expectations… It’s a starkly elegant, international-festival-ready staging, with costumer Josephine Poinsot assisting Duncombe’s trademark red-black-and-white scheme. Throughout, typical City Garage audacity is detectable… “Othello/Desdemona” is undeniably unlike anything else in town.
STAGE RAW REVIEW:
“Somewhat reminiscent of Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead… Director Frederique Michel’s artful staging cleverly takes the familiar characters and pushes them in unusual directions… The production is full of interesting images and psychological underpinnings… [and] possesses a playfulness that’s undeniably appealing… Michel’s trenchant sense of irony — and the intelligence of the underlying thoughts in the piece – keep us intrigued.”
This project is supported, in part, by the Los Angeles County Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and the Santa Monica Arts Commission.