Othello take 2

Am again helping with OTHELLO in NYC. It’s a difficult schedule and everybody, cast and crew, are working hard. However my focus this discussion is on the piece itself. It was such a moving experience to listen to Peter during the long rehearsals. First of all it was a shock to the spirit how brilliant Shakespeare is, both in his command of the English language and his insight into human existance. Last time I read him was in High School and I can safely say Shakespeare is grounded in weathered experience and cannot be appreciated by young, even smart inexperienced minds.
Peter took a very Buddhist slant on this play. He read texts of Buddhist scholars to the cast. For example he believes Iago is not “the personification of Evil”. The forces that downfelled Othello were in motion far before Iago ever got involved. Within Othello himself were the seeds of his tragedy and Iago merely played a part.
Also Peter stresses the Budshist view that really deep I side everybody is basically aware of everything, it’s mostly a matter of how much one can admit to oneself and others. This is why the actors almost never leave the stage. When their parts are over they sit on the sideline, in view of the audience, watching on.

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