Considering what’s going on in the US, making Othello a Muslim man would make it reasonable that he would feel the level of paranoia that he felt, sitting in the back of his mind, fearful that everyone is against him. And Iago is massaging that insecurity, that fear.
Jones: We set Othello loosely in the world of a crime syndicate in contemporary America—mainly, because in such a world, violence is an expected reality for how men rise and fall from power. Also, the underworld has the patriarchal, macho dealings with women, with the mental and physical violence, ending in murder—all realities which the play needs for its awful, tragic end.
Jones: The actors are bloody fabulous. This is my first time directing Dwayne A. Thomas who is playing Iago. He gives a truly wonderful performance. I cast Carlo Campbell as Othello, because he was born to play that role, and Nastassja Baset as Desdemona, Walter DeShields as Cassio, and LaNeshe Miller-White as Emilia—all actors who are unique and have passion to do Shakespeare.
Jones: True. Not only are these actors interesting to watch, they have a really high technical ability as well. The number of gifted, well-trained black actors who never get to perform on downtown theater stages is disgraceful. I want lots of people to come and see this production, so they can witness how incredibly good these actors are.
Hopefully, the public can start demanding to see them on stages everywhere.
A similar version was published by Phindie, click here and there.