Director Shana Cooper is known for her visceral takes on classic plays. Her work with frequent collaborator and choreographer Erika Chong Shuch on Shakespeare’s plays utilizes movement to inject each production with a physical muscularity that matches their use of language. We chatted with Cooper to discuss The Lady from the Sea and returning to the Court stage.

What drew you to Ibsen’s The Lady from the Sea

This is a play that’s been with me for about ten years. I first directed a staged reading of it in 2009 at Oregon Shakespeare Festival and I haven’t been able to shake it since. It’s haunted me. The thing that’s really remained with me about it is the visceral way Ibsen captures the nature of struggling with who you are and discovering a different sense of self over the course of your life. That idea of self-discovery and exploration is terrifying and exhilarating, and in this play, Ibsen carves a vivid expression of the dramatic storm of what it feels like to wrestle with your identity, and the role that free will can play in us authentically embracing our truest self, as well as the complexity and contradictions of desires and needs that exist within us. 

How are those ideas informing your approach to his work? 

One of my goals with Shakespeare is an interest in how to make these plays as muscular physically and emotionally as they are linguistically, and that’s one of my goals with this production, too. I have an extraordinary choreographer, Erika Chung Shuch, who’s a longtime collaborator with me. My hope is that as a company we can come up with a physicality to express these ineffable urges that the play deals with. My dream is that it’s a marriage of Ibsen’s brilliant dramaturgy, character, and language as well as a physical life that gets at the deeper yearnings buckling under the text that are hard to express. I hope it feels like we are expressing something new. 

What was the inspiration for this new translation by Richard Nelson, and how is it different than previous versions of this play?  

The Lady from the Sea is one of Ibsen’s least known works, which is part of why it’s so thrilling that Court originally programmed it, and the gift they are giving us by continuing with that journey after our pandemic shutdown. Because it is rarely produced, there are very few translations, and as far as I know there hasn’t been a contemporary American translation that expresses the hearts and souls of these characters with the clarity and humanity that Richard Nelson has uncovered. Through Richard Nelson’s luminous translation, we can not only understand but feel deeply the drama that pulses underneath these characters as they wrestle with their identities as individuals and within the most important relationships in their lives. Beyond transforming our experience of working on The Lady from the Sea, Richard’s translation is making a vital contribution to the American canon of Ibsen translations and finally making one of Ibsen’s more mysterious journeys, accessible to us all. 

What do you hope that audiences take away from The Lady from the Sea

My hope is that this play is an invitation to look at our own lives and life choices and identity and maybe view this idea of cracking open questions about our spirituality and our identity as a real possibility. The thing that’s brilliant about this play is that it’s quite true-to-life to me. The play is an invitation for us to reflect back on our lives in terms of how the small and large choices we make are at play with and against our free will. I want to tell a story that young, modern women in particular can connect to and be thrilled by and learn from and have exciting conversations inspired by it. They’re on my mind. 

The Lady from the Sea was cancelled following the final dress rehearsal on March 11, 2020 due to the global pandemic. What does it mean to you to be (re)mounting this show now? 

Ibsen, like all great writers, is a dreamer. And the man dreams big. This quote is from a letter Ibsen wrote early in his career, an ambitious vision for humanity, “People want only special revolutions, in externals, in politics, and so on. But that’s just tinkering. What really is called for is a revolution of the human mind…”  

The remarkable thing about The Lady from the Sea is that you can actually see that revolution beginning. In small but profound ways in the actions and choices of many of the characters, who begin the play in a crisis of their own making, and then actually manage to change, not only how they think, but their choices and actions in life and in love. As we return to this project after almost two years of essential reckonings within ourselves and our society, I think the question of what we do with this tremendous force of “free-will” that is central to Ibsen’s work is going to have fresh and more urgent meaning to artists and audiences who have learned by living through a pandemic just how harrowing it can be to feel lost in a storm of questions about who we are and what our role in the world can or should be. And perhaps most importantly what we can do “of our own free will” to find the lighthouse that will guide us home.

I believe, as Ibsen seems to suggest in The Lady from the Sea, that by living in that place of the deep and raw discomfort of not knowing and wrestling with the mysteries of free-will and how that can help us to access our truest selves, we may discover a rare capacity for change. And thus begins the revolution of the human mind…


Previews to The Lady from the Sea directed by Shana Cooper begin February 25. Learn more →

Photo of the cast of The Lady from the Sea by Michael Brosilow.

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Learn about famous stagings from throughout history in this blog." ["_article_description"]=> string(19) "field_5927045f742d7" ["article_byline"]=> string(58) "By Carissa Villagomez, Marketing and Communications Intern" ["_article_byline"]=> string(19) "field_592de516b020a" ["add_feed"]=> string(1) "0" ["_add_feed"]=> string(19) "field_5939a562bed44" ["_yoast_wpseo_primary_production-section"]=> string(3) "502" } ["___content":protected]=> NULL ["_permalink":protected]=> NULL ["_next":protected]=> array(0) { } ["_prev":protected]=> array(0) { } ["_css_class":protected]=> NULL ["id"]=> int(16345) ["ID"]=> int(16345) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "9" ["post_content"]=> string(8701) "[caption id="attachment_16346" align="alignnone" width="800"] Rendering of a world map from 1689.[/caption] The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice, like many of William Shakespeare’s plays, can be found on stages across the world. This blog is about Othello’s global presence, meaning how Othello the person can be interpreted as a character that can be found reinterpreted in performance in various countries. Highlighting moments in Othello’s long production history reveal persistent questions surrounding its staging as well as how Othello is relevant to the U.S. in 2021.  Some stagings in Othello’s global production history reveal the discussions around who can play Othello in different contexts. In 1987, the Market Theatre used the play as a vehicle to stage a protest in support of the anti-apartheid movement. In the 1980s in Pennsylvania, Kabuki Othello by Karen Sunde adapted Shakespeare’s text, setting the story in the 16th century and centering it around Othello as an Ainu—a Caucasian native—and war hero in Japan. Retelling Othello to respond to the cultural contexts in which it is staged presents questions about who in what context can play Othello. Amongst the most well-known Othello performers is Ira Aldridge, a renowned 19th-century actor who became the first Black man to act on stage as Othello. In the context of the United States at the time, Aldridge was barred from performing in many venues and so headed to Europe to make his living as an actor. Aldridge could not play Othello in the racially tense context of the U.S., and while in Europe, Aldridge created a mythology around himself, claiming to be an African prince. This declaration was a keen approach that recognized and took advantage of the audience’s and theatre managers’ interests in exoticism. The fact that this mythology that Aldridge crafted around himself became an effective method to increase his mystique and lure in audiences is a testament to expectations and “requirements” of who is deemed appropriate to play Othello in the European and British 19th-century context. An integral component to the text is that Othello can be reinterpreted so that no matter the new contexts it is placed in, its central questions remain. The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice has often been grounded in place and time, but the text can be translated to different racial relations and subtexts, such as how the Kabuki production probed similar themes of racial exclusion but in a Japanese context. The play can be, and often is, used politically, like Market Theatre’s apartheid-era production that used the production as an exploration of racial relations and love across racial divides. The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice is a vehicle for retelling a story interrogating global problems, such as systemic racism, and finding new layers of meaning activated by the context in which it is staged. When the play is adapted in different places, it grows to encapsulate context-specific meaning while also often preserving complex gender and race power dynamics. 
When the play is adapted in different places, it grows to encapsulate context-specific meaning while also often preserving complex gender and race power dynamics. 
Staging Othello presents an opportunity for interrogating not only the text’s themes but also the society it is produced in. As Abigail Henkin, Assistant Director and Dramaturg Associate of Court’s The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice, said in a Zoom interview, “Every country’s legacy affects how this play is staged and interpreted.” In the context of the U.S. in 2020 and post-2020, Court’s production features a team of creatives whose thought process is influenced by George Floyd and recent Black Lives Matter protests. The core values of Court’s telling are molded by contemporary events as everyone involved in the production was shaped by them. Awareness of systems of violence remains at the forefront of their thinking and fuels the interpretive journey of finding and recognizing every character’s tragedy.  The post-2020 context activates layers of meaning in the play’s telling and confronts audiences with questions on how such meaning has bearing in their own existence as individuals operating in a society’s harmful cycles of violence. Henkin notes that Court’s team “always wanted to do a production that was focused on Othello as Othello, to appreciate Black experience and perspectives, and to make sure we were listening to Black production members and cast members.” The team, conscious about the depiction of violence against people of color, approached the staging with an acute awareness of what it means to show that kind of violence and constructed its visual storytelling in a way that is intended to offer some possibility for moving forward rather than portraying violence for violence’s sake.  Henkin also notes that Othello's complex theatrical history is a testament to how this play’s performance legacy tracks how white America has talked about Blackness over time and what white America has traditionally allowed for and expected of Black actors. When asked about pivotal moments in understanding how Court’s telling contributes to a global legacy of the play’s stagings, Henkin responds that it is important to recognize “how informative casting can be in this production.” She goes on to say that “part of Court’s production is bringing each actor’s background and personal history in their performance and making sure to really incorporate each actor's lived experiences as they begin to create their characters.”  While Henkin reflects on what this production of The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice means in the post-2020 U.S., for her, it is vital to approach this play in a way that “prioritizes Othello, centers the Black experience, and features a diverse cast.” She states that the “idea of systems that are violent to Black men and how Black men respond to those systems feels pertinent. This production is grounded in a place of real humanity that shows each of these people not as caricatures but as human beings starting from a place of love.” Both Othello the play and the character have a complicated history of staging in the U.S. and across the globe. As the world reckons with violent legacies of systemic racism, Court’s telling aims to present a path forward of productive reflection on tragic social structures. 
Performances of The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice begin October 8 and run through December 5, 2021. Learn more about the production and get tickets →" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2021-10-05 11:01:48" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["post_title"]=> string(24) "Othello Around the World" ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["slug"]=> string(24) "othello-around-the-world" ["__type":protected]=> NULL ["_edit_lock"]=> string(12) "1633449589:9" ["_edit_last"]=> string(1) "9" ["_thumbnail_id"]=> string(5) "16347" ["_yoast_wpseo_content_score"]=> string(2) "30" ["_yoast_wpseo_estimated-reading-time-minutes"]=> string(1) "5" ["article_description"]=> string(162) "How do different productions of OTHELLO across the globe approach staging Shakespeare's tragedy? Learn about famous stagings from throughout history in this blog." 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The production’s world is an amalgam of periods and locations. Where did this choice originate? Gabrielle Randle-Bent: The more this piece came into focus as something about the text of Othello and the narrative that Shakespeare wrote but also about theatre, theatre histories, performance histories, actor experience, and everything that has to do with the world we live in from war to race to gender, it stopped making sense to land on a when and where. This production is not about why. The why never has one answer, so living in the multiplicity of that has been a challenge, but it’s the best way to be truthful in this inquiry.  Charles Newell: The production is an amalgam of our current thinking as we interrogate this text for right now.  In the wake of the reckoning around race in this country, why stage Othello now? CN: There were conversations amongst Court staff about whether we should do the play. At one point, we were at a place where we were going to choose not to. But we kept talking. I cannot remember another artistic journey in which we were invested in doing a text and then, as a result of what was going on in our world, we almost canceled it. That was a critical moment of reckoning for Court. The movement forward, the way we change the artistic process, and the way the work is represented came out of that question. But if not Court Theatre, who? If not now, when? GRB: Being a theatermaker is about facing my fears. It’s not about cow-towing to them, it’s not about knowing what’s right and wrong. It’s believing that being a storyteller helps people navigate the complicated truths of life. In a way, Othello has been a gift because it’s full of many of the things we’re afraid of at this moment in our culture, and that’s never not been true about this work. To run away isn’t reckoning with it, it’s not believing in what we do. Why center Othello’s perspective?  GRB: Centering Black identity, Black interiority, and Black tragedy makes more room for humanity. What happens when we make assumptions about who gets to tell a story is we take shortcuts about who gets access to full humanity and who is just a character in the narrative. By going in earnest pursuit of who Othello was and how he felt, it opened up avenues for how everyone else in the play could feel. We stopped calling them characters, we started calling them people, because Bianca has feelings, Cassio has dreams, Montano is conflicted, Desdemona is passionate, and Iago is just a man, he’s not good, but he’s not the personification of evil, either, and that’s a liberation for him because when Black people get free, when Black women get free, we all get free. I’m not here to center Othello because that’s what you’re supposed to do when you contend with Black stories, I’m here to center Othello because that’s what you’re supposed to do when you contend with human liberation. CN: Amen.  You’ve made significant cuts to the script, and you plan to continue. How did you decide what to take out? GRB: When you make edits, there are things you sacrifice, and some of that is the racist language, the blatant sexism, the comedy at lesser characters’ expense. We’re shooting for 90 minutes for the sake of people’s air quality and to distill the story we want to tell. It’s an artistic exercise in starting with practical needs by thinking about what is central in our mission to center Othello, to learn about these people, to go on a tragic journey with each of them, and convey ideas through speech, movement, and design. CN: The cutting reflects the multiple generations of thinking about what story we’re telling. The primary aspect now is exploring who the specific actor’s character is, who is Kelvin’s Othello? Who is Sean Fortunato’s Barbantio? The pandemic drawdown of operations at Court allowed for extra development time. What’s the result? GRB: It’s fun to talk about something that has this many pitfalls and moments of beauty. At various turns, I’ve fallen in love with Bianca and Roderigo, and I felt twelve hundred ways about Othello. You don’t get that opportunity to go through that cycle of emotional investment when you work on a show for a short time. In theatre, each production has different artists and creative impulses. Everything is new at once. Nothing is more exciting than sitting with something that you feel like you know and getting surprised. CN: We iterate during artistic processes. The quality of what we achieve depends on how often we iterate because every idea builds off the previous one. To have a production that has two to three times our normal time for iteration has been a joy. One critical moment was when we invited Kelvin Roston, Jr. to join the design team when ideas were being developed. Typically, the design team makes the decisions and the actors show up at the first rehearsal. Here, the actor playing Othello was present to tell us who he wanted to be and to create. Kelvin’s influence was significant to the project’s evolution.  What have been your influences throughout this process? CN: Simply reading the text. It was one of the few Shakespeare texts I had never worked on, but when I saw Kelvin Roston, Jr. and Tim Kane’s partnership in Oedipus Rex, I asked if they would want to do Othello. They said yes, so I read it. The play feels malleable, which was inspiring when thinking about how the team could work with a text that could mean so many different things. GRB: Professor Ayanna Thomspon’s analysis of performances of Othello as a palimpsest, meaning that there are stepped-on ideas, stepped-on experiences. That has been a driving image. Following the historical trajectory of this text has been following the trajectory of portrayals of Blackness, of understanding race, and of the ways that texts, theatre, and culture don’t just mirror who we are but help dictate it. What are your favorite design elements? GRB: We’ve been working with the designers from the beginning, and there’s something magical about abstract ideas manifesting in the texture of the lapel on Iago’s suit, the weight of the cape from Bianca’s boudoir. These manifestations are possible because we work together. So, it’s hard to tease out individual moments of design. Everything is a conversation. CN: A key moment was when the word scaffolding came out of John Culbert’s mouth. Another critical moment was when Erin Kilmurray, our movement director, talked about how we approach intimacy and violence. We know it’s not the traditional ways that you might think a stage production of Othello would use to represent violence. What are you excited about going into rehearsals? GRB: It’s magical being in the room. You plan for it, but you don’t know until you throw out the first pitch and the ball gets tossed into the air. That’s what rehearsal is—all the people there, ready. It’s the best feeling. CN: Our world has changed since the last time any of us were in a rehearsal room together. Our thinking of this play has changed. We would’ve never made this production we’re rehearsing now if we started rehearsal in April 2020. The fact we get to be in person together in a way we don’t know yet how to be feels unique to this moment.
Performances of The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice begin October 8. Learn more and get tickets→" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2021-09-27 14:09:56" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["post_title"]=> string(82) "Co-Directing a Classic: An Interview with Charles Newell and Gabrielle-Randle Bent" ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["slug"]=> string(81) "co-directing-a-classic-an-interview-with-charles-newell-and-gabrielle-randle-bent" ["__type":protected]=> NULL ["_edit_lock"]=> string(12) "1632769654:9" ["_edit_last"]=> string(1) "9" ["_thumbnail_id"]=> string(5) "16287" ["_yoast_wpseo_content_score"]=> string(2) "30" ["_yoast_wpseo_estimated-reading-time-minutes"]=> string(1) "6" ["article_description"]=> string(122) "Learn how THE TRAGEDY OF OTHELLO has evolved in this interview with co-directors Charles Newell and Gabrielle Randle-Bent." 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Since April 2020, Abigail Henkin, then student and now UChicago graduate, has been working on the creative team for Court Theatre’s upcoming production of The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice. During that time, the team’s approach to the play has evolved as its members process social upheaval and discover creative possibilities during production meetings.  For over a year, a series of private salons have been orchestrated among Court creatives like Henkin, who is Assistant Director and Associate Dramaturg of the production. The salons present an extraordinary opportunity for collaboration between designers, directors, actors, dramaturgs, and anyone else on the team who has a unique idea to share. The purpose of these sessions, Henkin declares, is “pretty all-encompassing” as they offer a virtual space for the artists to discover the vision of the production alongside its co-directors, Marilyn F. Vitale Artistic Director Charles Newell and performance scholar and Northwestern PhD Candidate Gabrielle Randle-Bent. A critical decision that the team arrived at early in the process was to re-center the character of Othello in a play that is often overrun by Iago. The question “What is the tragedy of each of these characters?”, particularly female characters who are often overlooked or underestimated, was vital to their discussions. However, putting Othello at the forefront was also paramount. Changing the production title from “Othello” to its original complete title “The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice” was a pivotal step on that journey of centering a character who is often written over in favor of Iago in several traditional performances. Such a trend can be attributed to Shakespeare’s text itself, as numerous asides and frequent lines ensure that Iago has a greater textual presence and power in the play than Othello. Considering Shakespeare’s construction of the text, Iago tends to take over unless a production intervenes through its staging. Court’s production aims to recenter Othello. Each word in “The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice” is necessary because, as Henkin says, it “tells something about the character and what world he is occupying.” Furthermore, the title change also demonstrates the team’s commitment to work beyond the typical assumptions surrounding the play and break free from the developed traditions that often dictate how characters in this play are typically performed.  The acknowledgment of “Venice” in the title also manifests the team’s attention to the location as a presence that can be evoked even when the production is not strictly grounded in 1500s Venice. Emerging from Henkin’s in-depth dramaturgical work was the realization that Venice was a place of cultural diversity as a meeting place between the East and West, and that revelation has informed casting and design decisions. A variety of documents informed Henkin’s knowledge of Venice as a complicated yet lively society and how the tensions within it still resonate today. Henkin’s role as Associate Dramaturg meant that she was often in pursuit of resources, and the pandemic context during which this production has been conceptualized means that her research has been conducted online. That virtual condition has not stopped Henkin from finding fascinating texts that have become integral to shaping the production. A few resources that stood out in Henkin’s memory include texts from Professor Noémie Ndiaye’s Black Shakespeare class and the Court coordinated series Black Baroque, such as Debra Ann Byrd’s Becoming Othello: A Black Girl’s Journey and Keith Hamilton Cobb’s American Moor to challenge the stereotypical expectations of an Othello performer. Other sources were Margaret F. Rosenthal’s The Honest Courtesan: Veronica Franco, Citizen and Writer in Sixteenth-Century Venice to think about Bianca and the portrayal of women, and Toni Morrison’s Desdemona, discussed alongside Professor Ndiaye, also was helpful in exploring the bonds between Iago and Othello and Othello and Desdemona. Such texts further prompted the team’s commitment to treating each character as a complex human being who has a life beyond the play’s pages. Henkin reveals that a significant realization was “you can’t hate anyone without a strong emotional connection.” That discovery marked a transitional moment in understanding the characters as starting from a place of profound love and deep human connection rather than jealousy. The creatives have applied this understanding to their long-standing goal of, as Henkin puts it, “breaking assumptions about these characters” and “telling this brutal story in a way that is healing instead of reinscribing trauma.” The process of creating The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice has been a unique experience due to its pandemic context. Henkin notes that the team has not yet assembled in-person for their meetings, but that she looks forward to meeting everyone, following COVID guidelines, for the first rehearsal. The production also has an unexpected advantage: since there are no shows before it, the team gets to rehearse in the assembled set onstage. This scenario provides incredible opportunities for new creative discoveries that come with interacting with the physical space from early on in the rehearsal process.  When asked how these salon sessions have influenced her as a creator, Henkin shares how much it meant to her that everyone’s perspective was given space to be aired. “It was incredibly rewarding to be respected coming in as a student and having my voice as a professional heard by the thoughtful leadership of Charlie and Gabby,” Henkin says. This production marks the incredible start of Henkin’s professional artistic journey and Court Theatre’s transition back to live performances.  Learn more about The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice, and buy your tickets today Photo of the company of THE TRAGEDY OF OTHELLO, THE MOOR OF VENICE in rehearsal (Ervin-Eickhoff)." 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"overflows with metaphor and verbal imagery ... Cross is luminous" -Chicago Sun-Times

Tickets to The Lady from the Sea are no longer available.

When a sailor returns to fulfill their promise, a lighthouse keeper’s daughter must choose between her landlocked marriage and the mesmerizing allure of the sea. Hailed as a watershed moment in Ibsen’s writing, The Lady from the Sea dissects issues of duty, marriage, and agency with raw emotion and disarming resonance. 

Canceled in March of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, The Lady from the Sea makes a triumphant return to Court’s stage in a new translation from playwright Richard Nelson starring Chaon Cross (Photograph 51, The Hard Problem). Director Shana Cooper injects Nelson’s text with a visceral physicality that thrillingly reflects and refracts Ibsen’s structure and characterization.

Stream On Demand

No longer available. Professionally captured with multiple cameras, our on-demand video version offers an intimate way to experience this beautiful play. The stream is available March 21 - April 10, 2022. Questions? See our streaming FAQ or call the Box Office at (773) 753-4472.

The Lady from the Sea is sponsored by Sidley Austin Foundation and Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation

[button link="https://www.courttheatre.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/Court-Theatre-The-Lady-from-the-Sea-program.pdf" text="Download a PDF of the Program"]

Photo of Gregory Linington, Will Mobley, Dexter Zollicoffer, and Chaon Cross. (Brosilow)

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No longer available.svelte, intimate and implosive ... truly, theatrically compelling ... extremely thoughtful and sincere”  Chicago Sun-Times
Othello—the noble general, husband, scholar, and traveler—fights for his life, right to love, and position in society. When Othello’s closest confidant objects to his actions, their brotherhood is shattered, provoking a series of tragic events for Othello and everyone around him. Co-directors Charles Newell and Gabrielle Randle-Bent helm this theatrical examination of humanity and tragedy in Shakespeare’s fraught and famous work. Through scenic design that places audiences in the middle of the action, this telling grapples with how complex notions of race, gender, and complicity at the heart of the play’s murderous events speak to a world on the brink of change. Running time: 100 minutes, presented without intermission In addition to live performances, a digital version is available to stream through December 5, 2021. Professionally captured with multiple cameras in front of a live audience, this on-demand video version offers an intimate way to experience Shakespeare's fraught and famous tragedy. Re-Opening Policy: All visitors to Court Theatre must provide proof of vaccination. By exception, visitors who are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons or due to a sincerely-held religious belief may provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of the event start time, or proof of a positive COVID-19 test taken 14-90 days before the date of the performance with affirmation that you are not experiencing any symptoms. This accommodation also applies to children under 12 who are currently unable to be vaccinated. University of Chicago students, faculty, other academic appointees, postdoctoral researchers, and staff subject to the University’s vaccine requirements may demonstrate proof of compliance by presenting their UChicago ID at entry. All visitors, regardless of vaccination status, must wear a mask while at Court Theatre. Learn more about COVID-19 protocols at Court Theatre. The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice is sponsored by Bayless Family Foundation and Michael Charles Litt Click here to download The Tragedy of Othello program.

Photo Kelvin Roston, Jr., Amanda Drinkall, Erik Hellman, Karissa Murrell Myers, Sean Fortunato, Cruz Gonzalez-Cadel, and Timothy Edward Kane by Michael Brosilow.

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⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ “blisteringly entertaining ... a fast-paced, funny and unstinting night at the theater” -Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune. Full Review

Amidst the Civil Rights Movement, Memphis Lee’s restaurant is slated for demolition. While Memphis fights to sell his diner for a fair price, the rest of the restaurant’s regulars search for work, love, and justice as their neighborhood continues to change in unpredictable ways.

Two Trains Running explores Black identity in the 1960s with passion and humor, demonstrating why Wilson is one of America’s most essential voices. With his singular point of view, Resident Artist Ron OJ Parson directs the penultimate play in Court’s ongoing commitment to staging all of Wilson’s American Century Cycle.

Two Trains Running is only available to view live onstage. Licensing restrictions prevent streaming this production.

Accessible performances: June 4 @2pm TT/AD | June 5 @2pm OC |  June 5 @7:30pm ASL

Sponsored by Allstate, Gustavo Bamberger and Martha Van Haitsma, and Neil Ross and Lynn Hauser. Ron OJ Parson’s residency is made possible by the Joyce Foundation.

[button link="https://www.courttheatre.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/TwoTrains-Program-2022-single-pages-1.pdf" text="Download PDF Program"]

UPDATE AS OF 5/30/22: The CDC has moved the City of Chicago's COVID-19 community transmission level to "high." In light of that, Court Theatre requires properly worn face masks for attendance at all remaining performances of Two Trains Running. COVID protocols are subject to change. Please check current guidelines prior to your attendance.

Header: Photograph of Joseph Primes, Alfred H. Wilson, A.C. Smith, Jerod Haynes, and Kierra Bunch (Michael Brosilow).  

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Archive

Othello Around the World

How do different productions of OTHELLO across the globe approach staging Shakespeare's tragedy? Learn about famous stagings from throughout history in this blog.

Process and Evolution

How did more than a year of salon conversations inform Court's production of THE TRAGEDY OF OTHELLO, THE MOOR OF VENICE? Learn more in this blog focusing on the role of Assistant Director and Associate Dramaturg Abigail Henkin.

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