British Universities Film & Video Council

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Playing Juliet/Casting Othello

Synopsis
Video recording of a production of Caleen Sinnette Jennings’ play ‘Playing Juliet/Casting Shakespeare’ directed by Lisa Rose Middleton. The cast is equally divided between black and white actors and the rehearsal room becomes a platform for exploring feelings about race, physical appearance, class and education. The first act revolves around a rehearsal of Romeo and Julie. Was Georgia (a dark-skinned woman who is not a youthful beauty) cast as Juliet because the young white director wanted to prove something? In the second act the company rehearses Othello. When the actor cast as Othello quits, Jimmy - uneducated and untrained - takes over. The uneducated outsider understands the dignity of Othello in a way others don’t; the back women are offended by being cast as Emilia the maid and Bianca the whore. Videotaped for WAPAVA by James J. Taylor.
Language
English
Country
United States
Medium
Video
Technical information
Colour / Sound
Recording date
31 Jan 1998

Credits

Director
Lisa Rose Middleton
Writer
Caleen Sinnette Jennings
Music
Mike Savenelli
Production Design
David Evans Morris
Costume
Howard Vincent Kurtz
Contributor
James J. Taylor
Cast
Scott Leonard FortuneJimmy (Othello)
Kila D. BurtonGeorgia (Juliet)
Rachel D. SpaghtLorraine
Steve LebensDave
Susan LynskeyWendy

Additional Details

Theatre
Elizabethan Theatre, Folger Shakespeare Library
Theatre company
Source Theatre Company
Production type
Stage Recordings
Plays
Othello; Romeo and Juliet
Subjects
Drama
Keywords
race relations; Shakespeare, William (1564-1616); Rehearsals; Casting (roles)

Notes

Notes
The play text can be read at http://books.google.co.uk/books (accessed 11/2010).
History
The production at the Elizabethan Theatre ran 9 January- 1 February 1998.
Textual information
Dramaturg is Robin Ervin.

Archive

Name

Washington Area Performing Arts Video Archive (WAPAVA)

Email
leahkim@umd.edu
Web
http://www.wapava.org External site opens in new window
Phone
(301) 405 9117
Address
James J. Taylor Collection
Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library
University of Maryland
College Park, Maryland 20742-1630

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