In December 2020, the National Arts Club hosted the world premiere of Debra Ann Byrd’s solo show, Becoming Othello: A Black Girl’s Journey. This 90 minute, five-act, living memoir explores a young woman’s acting journey on the road to becoming Othello, her trials and triumphs with race and the classics, some memorable experiences on her gender-flipped journey, and her fun-loving and tumultuous youth. The solo performance is complemented by moving multimedia images, lyrical language from Black women playwrights, William Shakespeare, Langston Hughes, Martin Luther King, Jr., Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, and the King James Bible—along with soulful songs and the music that shaped her life in her beloved Harlem. As a speaker, Byrd will comment on the journey that led to Becoming Othello, her own relation to Shakespeare and Baroque theatre, and her experience playing the role of Othello as a Black woman.
This 75-minute online event features a conversation with Debra Ann Byrd followed by a live audience Q&A.