With a cast ranging from glowing freshman thespian, Tiana Alexander, to student government president, Chris Harmon, Othello was destined to be interesting. The prospect filled event took a literal and figurative stab at Shakespearean drama Wednesday night.The production hit immense highs and a few lows.
Though there was some confusion about whether or not the play was free, a decent crowd fiscally and physically supported the theatre department’s latest endeavor.
It began in the department’s usually timely fashion, but allowed enough time for audience members to file in, mingle and admire the set.
As swords were drawn, characters were wittily blocked to parallel “x”s of violence. The incited drama provided a visual juxtaposition against elaborate columns and a two story facade.
Another facade was that of time. The play ran longer than most movies with several lapses in action. Run time was about two hours and fifteen minutes strong, sans intermission.
Most scenes packed punch albeit not always realistic. Elongated lulls induced spontaneous text messaging. Scenes of pure dialogue led a notable amount of the audience away from the theatre early in the production, which led them to miss the later rises in action.
Where Old Man Pete riveted and left viewers’ expectations surpassed and souls satiated, Othello left more to be desired.
However, a few performers truly intrigued viewers.
Damonica Jenkins glowed as she delivered a plausible presentation of Desdemona’s spousal loyalty. Her death scene showcased her ability to cry and flush her countenance to full crimson.
Omar Johnson’s unceasing villainy proved true throughout much of the production. He followed theatrical constructs with viable tactics and climaxes of action mid-sword fight. He logically conveyed mastermind deception.
He spat lines with the vengeance of an unstoppable instigator. He was the token double talker theatre-lovers love to hate.
Minor viewer peeves included indecipherable line delivery, reversal of a stabbed leg, suicide committed upstage and curious death revival.
Some weren’t fazed by technicalities.
Alec Magee of Bogalusa enjoyed the play’s concept and found the intrusions on love truthful.
Crystal Mauricette of St. Lucia enjoyed the last scene the most and said although the performers were likely nervous on opening night they performed well.
Her favorite character was Emilia (Tiana Alexander). She reiterated the sentiments of two ladies who wouldn’t speak on the record.
It was the longest play she had ever attended, but said that the department “brought out the best in the end.”
It was just a journey to get there.