2018 Season



















Othello

Love, envy, and innuendo drive the central conflicts in this iconic tragedy. Othello examines our vulnerability to both sides of manipulation, and the devastating outcomes possible when we become infected by falsehoods and prejudice. Rumor and jealousy become all-consuming and mind-altering emotions that lead to actions with irrevocable consequences. With these troubling and timely themes, this play is best suited for mature audiences.


We're thrilled to announce that Terri McMahon has joined the team to direct Othello. Recent directing credits include Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream (Santa Cruz Shakespeare), Macbeth (Arabian Shakespeare Festival), and Love's Labors Lost (University of Utah). A veteran actor of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, her 23 seasons have included 19 Shakespeare productions, American classics (Williams, Churchill, and more), world premiers (Ladybird in Robert Schenken's All the Way and The Great Society), and everything in between. She also worked in the education department and with the school visit program, as an actor and director. Other regional theatres include La Jolla Playhouse, Center Theatre Group, TheatreWorks, Marin Theatre Company, Arizona Theatre Company, Intiman Theatre, California Shakespeare Theater, Sacramento Theatre Company, and Seattle Repertory Theatre. Terri holds a BFA from University of Southern California under John Houseman and W. Duncan Ross and recently completed the Lincoln Center Theatre Directing Lab.

Othello (Directors notes)

People want to know why they do what they do -- what makes them tick. I try to figure it out all the time. My 18 year old is obsessed by it. Both of us find we hunger to see ourselves in other people to gain our answers. My daughter shares YouTube with me for her self-recognitions, most especially around race, class, gender identity and sexuality. On the same themes, around different stories, I take her to the theater to see mine.

Shakespeare scholar, Harold Bloom, says, “[Shakespeare’s] mode of representation is always out ahead of any historically unfolding reality. He contains us, more than we contain him”. I find Bloom’s conclusion to be unbelievably true. Shakespeare’s plays possess and tolerate far more than our modern obsessions, criteria and social norms can pour into them. You’ll see in the casting of our production of Othello significant gender changes. The last 8 years, and even more intensely 2 years, have accelerated our understanding, if not acceptance, of sexual orientation and gender diversity. Expectations of masculinity and femininity thankfully are evolving from their normative strongholds. We seek to live in many kinds of normals.

Othello is a hired general, an uneasy honor and condition as a black man in a white society. Are we not still living that condition every day, all the time, in 2018? A woman, Desdemona, initiates a relationship by listening extraordinarily to a man’s life. The man, Othello, responds to Desdemona’s energizing power and they marry. They thrive in the security of their mutual love leaving them vulnerable. Are we not vulnerable every time we put a stake in the ground to share more deeply with one another? Another man, Iago – competitive, and married to a man in this production -- is able to insinuate an awful skepticism onto Othello’s certainty about his love, and thus identity. Are we not hauled back and forth across the keel of our identities by skeptics every day of our contemporary lives?

My daughter and I sympathize with how relationships and identities are accepted, or not, in our popular moment. Shakespeare sympathized most of all.













Othello

Love, envy, and innuendo drive the central conflicts in this iconic tragedy. Othello examines our vulnerability to both sides of manipulation, and the devastating outcomes possible when we become infected by falsehoods and prejudice. Rumor and jealousy become all-consuming and mind-altering emotions that lead to actions with irrevocable consequences. With these troubling and timely themes, this play is best suited for mature audiences.


We're thrilled to announce that Terri McMahon has joined the team to direct Othello. Recent directing credits include Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream (Santa Cruz Shakespeare), Macbeth (Arabian Shakespeare Festival), and Love's Labors Lost (University of Utah). A veteran actor of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, her 23 seasons have included 19 Shakespeare productions, American classics (Williams, Churchill, and more), world premiers (Ladybird in Robert Schenken's All the Way and The Great Society), and everything in between. She also worked in the education department and with the school visit program, as an actor and director. Other regional theatres include La Jolla Playhouse, Center Theatre Group, TheatreWorks, Marin Theatre Company, Arizona Theatre Company, Intiman Theatre, California Shakespeare Theater, Sacramento Theatre Company, and Seattle Repertory Theatre. Terri holds a BFA from University of Southern California under John Houseman and W. Duncan Ross and recently completed the Lincoln Center Theatre Directing Lab.

Othello (Directors notes)

People want to know why they do what they do -- what makes them tick. I try to figure it out all the time. My 18 year old is obsessed by it. Both of us find we hunger to see ourselves in other people to gain our answers. My daughter shares YouTube with me for her self-recognitions, most especially around race, class, gender identity and sexuality. On the same themes, around different stories, I take her to the theater to see mine.

Shakespeare scholar, Harold Bloom, says, “[Shakespeare’s] mode of representation is always out ahead of any historically unfolding reality. He contains us, more than we contain him”. I find Bloom’s conclusion to be unbelievably true. Shakespeare’s plays possess and tolerate far more than our modern obsessions, criteria and social norms can pour into them. You’ll see in the casting of our production of Othello significant gender changes. The last 8 years, and even more intensely 2 years, have accelerated our understanding, if not acceptance, of sexual orientation and gender diversity. Expectations of masculinity and femininity thankfully are evolving from their normative strongholds. We seek to live in many kinds of normals.

Othello is a hired general, an uneasy honor and condition as a black man in a white society. Are we not still living that condition every day, all the time, in 2018? A woman, Desdemona, initiates a relationship by listening extraordinarily to a man’s life. The man, Othello, responds to Desdemona’s energizing power and they marry. They thrive in the security of their mutual love leaving them vulnerable. Are we not vulnerable every time we put a stake in the ground to share more deeply with one another? Another man, Iago – competitive, and married to a man in this production -- is able to insinuate an awful skepticism onto Othello’s certainty about his love, and thus identity. Are we not hauled back and forth across the keel of our identities by skeptics every day of our contemporary lives?

My daughter and I sympathize with how relationships and identities are accepted, or not, in our popular moment. Shakespeare sympathized most of all.



FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL: 360-331-2939 or email
July 14-September 3,
Shows Thursday through Sunday at 6:00,
(matinees at 1:00 Sundays in August).
Island Shakespeare Festival is located at 5476 Maxwelton Road, Langley, WA 98260 (MAP)
Mailing address:
PO Box 1262
Langley, WA, 98260
Click HERE for the performance schedule.