In Shakespeare's Othello, the title character strangles his wife, Desdemona, in a fit of jealous rage; manipulated by the liar Iago, Othello believes she has been unfaithful. For Jennifer McCray Rincon, writer and director of The Othello Project: Phase 2, this story is well suited for a modern audience. "I've always thought it was about domestic violence," says Rincon, the artistic director for Visionbox. "There are two people murdered, and they are wives."
Rincon got the idea for this project when she was subpoenaed to appear in a domestic-violence trial. She met people who wanted to tell her about their own experience with violence, and those stories came to represent a contemporary window into the play: The Othello Project splices Rincon's adaptation of Othello with modern scenes from her interviews.
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But it does a lot more than that. Each night, the 7 p.m. performance is preceded by an art exhibition that includes works by local artists who put the play's themes into visual context and followed by a talk from the Crime Victims Advisory Council.
The Othello Project is the first full-length production of the Visionbox actors' studio; it runs through June 9 at the L2 Arts & Culture Center, 1477 Columbine Street. For more information or to purchase tickets, $10 to $20, go to www.visionbox.org or call 720-810-1641
Thursdays-Saturdays, 7 p.m. Starts: May 31. Continues through June 9, 2012