OTHELLO / DESDEMONA

TICKETS NOW AVAILABLE!

Playing June 2nd-19th in Washington and Baltimore

A once-in-a-lifetime theater experience, formed of two parts divided over two evenings! On the first evening, audiences experience an audacious reimagining of Verdi and Shakespeare in an all new English poetic treatment by Andrew Albin, featuring the searing images of British visual artist Keith Piper and new musical “sea-interludes” composed and performed by Matthew Evan Taylor.

Audiences return the second evening for a reading of Toni Morrison's shattering and meditative play Desdemona interwoven with the music of the immortal Nina Simone, featuring world renowned artist Claron McFadden. The work comes to life within a sculpture installation by renowned visual artist Maya Freelon. Remarkable and multifaceted artist Maribeth Diggle takes the role of Desdemona in both evenings.

Silver and Bronze ticket packages provide two affordable ways to see the complete work over two evenings.

OTHELLO/DESDEMONA - TWO EVENING SILVER PASS 

OTHELLO/DESDEMONA - TWO EVENING BRONZE PASS

OTHELLO INDIVIDUAL TICKETS

DESDEMONA INDIVIDUAL TICKETS

CLICK HERE FOR BALTIMORE TICKETS

This production is made possible by the generous support of Joe Drach and Janet Farrell.

OTHELLO

by G. Verdi after Shakespeare, with new music by Matthew Evan Taylor and new poetry by Andrew Albin

Timothy Nelson, Director

Emily Baltzer, Music Director

On the first night, audiences experience an audacious deconstruction and reimagining of Shakespeare's play OTHELLO as told through the music of Verdi. Poet and scholar Andrew Albin has crafted a sung English text that restores Shakespeare's words to the opera, experienced here as an intimate and visceral piece of theater directed by Timothy Nelson. The performance is centered in the searing images of British-Jamaican artist Keith Piper's work "Go West Young Man", which explores the journey of the feared and fetishized black male body through the Western imagination. Verdi's score is expanded by newly commissioned musical interludes to be performed on stage by composer and saxophonist Matthew Evan Taylor. These "Othello Interludes" are interspersed between the acts of Verdi’s opera, recentering the work in the experience of its title character, a man often marginalized from his own story.

OTHELLO is a work that is inescapably Shakespeare and Verdi, two White Western men, talking about blackness. Here, as half of this unique experience, the work is recentered in the imagination of Toni Morrison, whose deep reading and understanding of OTHELLO offers it the light and life it so desperately needs.

June 2 (preview), 4 (opening)*, 9,  17, 2022 | 7:30pm

June 12^, 19+, 2022 | 3:00pm

Source Theatre

1835 14th St NW

Washington, DC 20009

June 14 & 15, 2022 | 7:30pm

Baltimore Theater Project

45 W Preston St

Baltimore, MD 21201

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DESDEMONA

by Toni Morrison, featuring the music of Nina Simone

Musical Dramatic Construction by: Claron McFadden, Maribeth Diggle, Janelle Gill

Audiences return the second evening for Toni Morrison’s DESDEMONA, wrapped in the music of Nina Simone, whose imagination drew in tunes and traditions from throughout the world and from this fractured America. Also included is music by 17th century Venetian female composer and intellectual Barbara Strozzi. Morrison's work wrests narrative agency from the men of Shakespeare’s tragedy, and gives it to the women he did and did not write: Desdemona herself has the opportunity to make this finally her story; and in the same way Morrison takes ownership of Shakespeare’s narrative with the creation of Barbary, the African slave woman who died caring for the young Desdemona, to be performed by acclaimed international musical artist Claron McFadden. Through music, poetry, and conversation, these two characters walk through the afterlife and finally approach understanding, bringing the audience with them.


Where in PART ONE, the theatrical world of Shakespeare and Verdi is closed, two-dimensional, and observational only, the experiential language of the second evening's PART TWO is open, multi-dimensional, unlimited, and participatory. In her play, and the totality of this two-part experience, Morrison is not only envisioning a new way to experience life from the perspective of the afterlife, but she is also teaching a new way of making theater that reflects the spirit of this understanding. DC's own jazz pianist and composer Janelle Gill leads a unique and diverse musical ensemble including DC classical viola da gamba legend Tina Chancey and Baltimore master of African kora and djembe, Amadou Kouyate. These three artists speak with different musical vernaculars, but their common language is that of improvisation. Surrounding this entire evening, literally and rhetorically, is a new immersive and interactive sculpture by prominent visual artist Maya Freelon, renowned for her creative adaptation of her own, and of African, quilting traditions. This tissue paper sculpture, fragile and luminous,was created with the support of CulturalDC as part of  its presentation of Freelon’s Peace by Piece in its Mobile Art Gallery. Peace by Piece was created through a series of community workshops held in Ward 4 in April and May of 2022.

June  3 (preview), 10, 11, 16, 18+, 2022 | 7:30pm

June 5 *^,  2022 | 2:00pm

Source Theatre

1835 14th St NW

Washington, DC 20009

June 7 & 8, 2022 | 7:30pm

Baltimore Theater Project

45 W Preston St

Baltimore, MD 21201

* INsider Subscription
+ Out with IN Subscription
^ IN Focus Subscription

Purchase IN Confidence

-All tickets are 100% refundable or transferable due to cancellation or wellness concerns.

-IN Series follows all safety measures mandated by Washington, DC and the CDC.

COVID Policies and Procedures Season Calendar


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