by william shakespeare
3 murders, and 1 suicide all in one night.
A swift and streamlined look at one of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedies, you will witness Othello’s fall from grace, become complicit in Iago’s schemes, and feel the sting of patriarchy for both Emilia and Desdemona.
3 murders, and 1 suicide all in one night. How did this happen and who is responsible? This is a look at Shakespeare’s masterpiece about hate, mistrust, jealousy, betrayal, miscommunication and contempt. One of the first great “Krimis” ever written, Othello follows the misfortunes of the high-ranking General Othello and his fall from grace due to the manipulations of his most trusted sergeant, the cruel and twisted Iago, and his own fragile masculinity. A tale of great love and great loss that reminds us to see past the lies and seek the truth.
Othello will premiere Thursday, September 21st, 2023, at 8:00 PM at the Internationales Theater Frankfurt.
Further perfomance dates:
All shows begin at 8:00 PM. Shows marked with an* indicate an 11:00 AM matinee
Running time: 1 hour 45 minutes (with a 20 minute interval)
Warning: this performance includes sexual situations, gunfire, suicide, racial slurs and physical violence.
Renard Yearby is an award-winning slam poet and spoken word artist. He started his acting journey in 2018 and since then has performed in productions ranging from Shakespeare Frankfurt’s production of Othello as the titular character, Amelia Earhart Playhouse’s (AEP) award-winning production of Blue Door by Tanya Barfield, Wiesbaden Performing Arts Center production(WPAC) of The Drawer Boy, WPAC’s production of Every Brilliant Thing by Duncan Macmillan and Jonny Donahoe, AEP’s production of The
Mountaintop as Martin Luther King Jr. and was last seen in Shakespeare Frankfurt’s production of Sweat by Lynn Nottage.
Renard is reprising his role as Othello and marks his fifth production with Shakespeare Frankfurt. Renard is a member of Shakespeare Frankfurt Ensemble, Frankfurt English Speaking Theatre.
She has been acting, dancing and singing in a performing arts school since the age of 4, where she also got to perform in international musical productions such as “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat“, “Little Shop of Horrors“ and “Footloose“ in London, England.
She has been part of multiple Shakespeare Frankfurt performances such as “An Enemy of the People” in 2018, “Macbeth” (witch) in 2019, she appeared in Shakespeare Frankfurt’s film “Spiritus Vitae- The Breath of Life” in the role of Lysander in 2020, embodied Mariane in “Tartuffe” and Cordelia in “King Lear” in 2021.
Emma is thrilled to share the stage with such a wonderful group of actors.
Michael has been acting since he was a child. He performed in a number of German Shakespeare productions, including “Richard III”, in which he played the title role. Joining the Shakespeare Frankfurt ensemble in 2016, he added several well-known Shakespeare characters to his list, including Ariel in “The Tempest”, Bottom in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, Edmund in “King Lear”, Touchstone in “As You Like It”, Brutus in “Julius Caesar” and the title role in “Macbeth”. His other acting credits include Henrik Ibsen’s “An Enemy of the People”, Yasmina Reza’s “Art”, Martin McDonagh’s “The Pillowman” and Martin Heckmanns’ one-person play “Finnisch”, for which he received the Best Actor award at the Freispiel Festival in Freiburg. In 2020 he co-developed, edited and acted in Shakespeare Frankfurt’s first feature film “Spiritus Vitae – The Breath of Life” and portrayed the mentally unstable composer Robert Schumann in Theater 3D’s production “Dichterliebe” which won the jury award at the MADE Festival Hessen. In early 2023, Michael made his directorial debut of a full-length play with Shakespeare Frankfurt’s production of “Julius Caesar”.
Her interest in the Arts arose at a young age, with six years she started taking singing, dancing and piano lessons.
Through school she was inspired to join the English Theater Workshop at the AmKa where she discovered her love for acting.
This is her third time working with Shakespeare Frankfurt, having performed as Celia in “As you like it” in 2022 and playing the role of Juliet in “Romeo and Juliet” in 2023.
Kyle Ballantyne is a German/South African actor who grew up in Barcelona, Spain. He has been acting since the age of 12 and recently completed his acting training at the Institute of the Arts in Barcelona. Since graduating, he has participated in several projects, most recently Shakespeare Frankfurt’s Romeo and Juliet in the lead role of Romeo. He is looking forward to presenting another tragic story with Shakespeare Frankfurt in the role of Michael Cassio.
After this production, Kyle will move to London to attend the Identity School of Acting to further develop his acting skills.
Conor Doyle is an Irish Actor and Comedian. He has received training in Canada and Ireland and has performed internationally. Currently living in Frankfurt, Conor is involved with The English Theatre Frankfurt and their production of Robin Hood for young audiences. His most recent show he was involved with was Shakespeare Frankfurts production of Romeo and Juliet, where he played the part of The Paige and was also the Assistant Director for the production. Conor can also be seen regularly around Frankfurt performing Stand Up Comedy.
Charles is from Ireland and lived for several years in Paris before settling in Frankfurt in 2018. This is his second production for
Shakespeare Frankfurt as a projection designer after previously on the production of Lynn Nottage’s Sweat.
He has also performed as an actor for Shakespeare Frankfurt in the
garden production of As You Like It in addition to several plays in
Paris and Frankfurt including the role of Ernest in The Importance of
Being Earnest and Pinter’s short plays The Room and Celebration.
Born in Siberia, David Sidnev studied at the State University of Management in Moscow as Civil servant (2003-2008), but during the course of his studies discovered his long forgotten passion for sound engineering.
Graduate of Musicians Institute in Los Angeles(2013-2014) as a sound engineer, David worked with hundreds of musicians in the US, Russia and England before settling down in Mannheim, Germany in 2022.
Currently David works as a full time sound technician in The English Theater Frankfurt, runs his own studio in Moscow, Russia and produces a YouTube channel of live music called “Abandoned Sessions”.
Thomas Rösener began his training as an event technician at the Frankfurt Opera, where he specialized in lighting after completing his training. In addition to his work as a lightoperator at the opera house, he designs the light for several drama, musical and performance productions at various theaters in Frankfurt and the surrounding area. Since 2017 he has also been responsible for the lighting design of the Junge Oper Schloss Weikersheim. Othello will be his second production with the company of Shakespeare Frankfurt.
Johannes Schmidt – Technician
Leanne Maksin – Webmaster
Michael Kinzer – Video Content & Editing
Photography by Stephan Junek
Othello is one of Shakespeare’s masterpieces, it is a story that was ahead of its time and has survived the last 400 plus years of racist tropes, stereotyped renditions of people of color and blackface performances. Thankfully we are at a time when most of those approaches to this story are now a footnote in history. At its core this is a powerful love story that descends into murder and manipulation at the hands of a sociopath, if it sounds like a modern “Krimi”, that’s because it is.
You cannot work on this play and not address the racism that is present. One thing I hold a very strong opinion of is that this is not a play about racism. Iago is a raging racist, but the play itself deals with so many other aspects of human nature that it is reductive to label it a play about racism. If you want to look at Shakespeare’s play about racism, watch a production of The Merchant of Venice, in that story, all the Italians hate the Jews and the vengeance they enact on Shylocke far exceeds his own brutal sense of justice.
I have worked on Othello in many ways and at different times in my career, that experience informed how I would approach our process. With this iteration of the story, I chose to scale down the plot to its most essential elements. A military environment filled with adventure, danger, honor and glory, a more than qualified outsider who is put in charge, a young woman married and out in the world for the first time, a desperate suitor who doesn’t even exist in the eyes of his love, a woman who has proven herself in the patriarchal world of the military and yet is firmly under the boot of a selfish and manipulative husband, a dashing and promising young officer who only wants to please his mentor and a disgruntled twisted underling looking for a way to destroy it all.
This is very much a play about people who live a military life. War is such an essential, twisted and haunting aspect of human nature, we ask our populations to train and then kill each other, all for resources; be it knowledge, minerals, land or what I expect our future wars to be based on …water. Soldiers are trained to be professional murderers. The US Marine Corp proudly has a saying which is “Every Marine is a Rifleman”. Unlike other branches of the military the Marines are all trained to be killers even the cooks and accountants. Referring to their recruits as such is meant to help in their reprograming from young adults to weapons of war. It’s only been since World War II that we have studied and addressed the profound effects of war on our soldiers. When Shakespeare wrote Othello PTSD wasn’t part of the equation, and yet just like with so many other aspects of psychology he intuitively understood it’s effects and created characters suffering from such damage. Our goal with this version of the story is to not simply dismiss Othello’s actions as those of a man struggling with his fragile masculinity but to address the real-world effect that being a killer has on a fighting force and how that cost is transferred to the people who love them.
PJ Escobio – 8/29/2023
A SPECIAL THANKS
To the Internationales Theater Frankfurt as a producing partner and AmkA for providing a rehearsal space.