Theatre Department takes turn with ‘Othello’

Shakespeare is considered to be one of the greatest playwrights of all time. More people have redone works from Shakespeare than any other playwright in history. Now it’s the Grambling State University Theatre Department’s turn to take a swing at Shakespeare.

The department will start the semester off with one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays, Othello, on Wednesday.

Othello is about a free spirited warrior, who is the head solider. A jealous warrior, Iago tries everything in his power to take Othello’s position.

The play is directed by Dr. King Godwin, head of the department.

“So far, I’m pretty pleased with the play. We’re doing the play in its original text and I hope it’s not too difficult for the audience to understand,” said Dr. Godwin.

Dale Nelson, a junior theatre major from Ruston, plays the lead role of Othello.

“It’s been a long process. I had to go home and really get into the role. When I found out I had the role of Othello, I was proud, but nervous because I’ve never had a role this big and I’m glad that the director put his faith in me.

Godwin confirmed that faith and said “I’m very pleased with how he handles the role of Othello.”

The production consists of a cast of actors and actress such as Omar Johnson, Patrick Johnnie, Jared Johnnie, Aigner Edgerson, and Demonica Jenkins, just to name a few.

Tiana Alexander, a freshman theatre major from Dallas, plays the role of Emilia, who is portrayed as a whore and distrustful to her husband.

“It’s difficult at times, but in order to portray our roles so [that] people can understand, we have to understand the play ourselves. It’s been a long process, but the outcome will result in a standing ovation,” Alexander said, laughing.

The set design, recreated after the Globe Theatre, was created by Steve Chapin and the costumes were designed by Teshia Lincoln.

“The costumes are going along with the period of the time. They are very elaborate,” Lincoln said.

Othello will run from Wednesday through Feb. 7 in Dunbar Hall at the Floyd L. Sandle Theatre at 7 p.m. Admission can’t be beaten. It’s free.

Wondering what you can expect from the play?

“The audience can expect a new dimension in period drama and a new espouser to the genre of Shakespeare,” said Dr. Godwin as he grabbed his pen, pad and soda and darted off to rehearsal.