The MCC Theatre will be the host of the classic play “Othello,” the last production of the semester for the theatre and film arts department. “Othello,” known the world over for its skilled author William Shakespeare, and subject matter; controversial for the time it was written, the protagonist Othello is described as a Moor, a term commonly used to refer to those with dark skin. Though the plot revolves around Othello, the antagonist Iago holds a captivating place within the cast of characters. Iago is the driving force that moves the plot forward with his Machiavellian scheming, and is a rarity in drama because he actually has more lines in the play than Othello himself. MCC theatre and film arts professor Kevin Dressler is the director of “Othello” and said that the play will have some unique features.
“A lot of productions in this day and age, what they do is… Iago, because he is referred to as honest so many times; I think almost every character refers to him at some point, refers to Iago as ‘honest Iago,’” Dressler said. “A lot of productions try to get away with the ‘honest Iago’ in kind of a sarcastic tone.”Dressler felt that interpreting Iago in such a way was incorrect, given how often the character is described as trustworthy, as well as how others treat him. “A lot of people really downplay the reasons why Iago hates the Moor,” Dressler said.He went on to say that MCC’s production would treat Iago as the text does, a character regarded as reliable that has been pushed past the limit of what he is willing to accept. The tale is told in great detail with a typically long running time, ideal as the play contains many subplots.
There were however, some cuts made to the play to shorten its length while also keeping the main plot and character development intact, according to Dressler. “I wanted to keep the main plot lines in, and because we are educational theatre, I wanted to keep the main characters pretty well developed. And by the main characters I’m counting especially the women like Emilia, because there are so few women in the play,” Dressler said. “Emilia and Bianca; I’ve kept more of their stuff than what is typical, but part of that is just for an academic acting exercise… and so it’s not just a male-heavy play.” “Othello” will be performed at the MCC Theatre on Dec. 4, 5, 10 and 11 at 7:30 p.m. with matinee performances on Dec. 5 and 12 at 2 p.m. To find out more information and get tickets call the box office at (480) 461-7172 or visit https://www.purplepass.com/#mm=allevents/mesa community college.