By Alexander Makijew
The last chance for students, staff and community members to see the Highland Players’ performance of Othello by William Shakespeare is this weekend, Friday and Saturday night, November 20 and 21.
While audiences may be familiar with the famous play concerning betrayal, jealousy and domestic violence, they’ll find this performance unusual and intriguing. All the roles are gender-swapped. The male roles have been re-imagined as female characters, and the female roles as male characters. The time period has also been moved up.
Othello might seem a strange choice for entertainment as we approach the holiday season, but according to the National Coalition Against Domestic violence, “1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of [some form of] physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime” and “Intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of all violent crime.” Much of this violence escalates around the holidays, which can prove to be more stressful than joyful for some families.
Veteran actors fill the key roles, handling this difficult topic. Danielle Lee plays Othello, Holly Vander Hyde plays Iago, and Matthew Jones plays Desdemona. Other cast members include Isabella Teague as Roderiga, Kinsey Gorman as Cassio, John Eric Haynes as Emilio, Michael Gomez as Bianco, Avery Windbush as the Duke, Hannah Hayden Hoerner as Brabantio, Samantha Sprengelmeyer as Lodovico, Jenell Louissaint as Gratiano, and Abigail Cowen as Montano. The play is directed by theater and drama teacher Peggy Self.
The performance starts at 7:00 p.m. sharp. Ticket prices for students are $5.00 ($4.00 with ASB Card). Adult price is $7.00. Many teachers at Highland offer extra credit to students if they attend.