SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK

June 05, 2018 at 5:00 am

A New York tradition begins as the Public Theater launches its 2018 season with a new production of “Othello.” We have a preview of this classic tragedy.

Aired June 4, 2018.

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> THE PUBLIC THEATER IS
LAUNCHING THE FREE SHAKESPEARE
IN THE PARK 2018 SEASON WITH A
NEW PRODUCTION OF "OTHELLO" AT
THE DELACORTE THEATER IN CENTRAL
PARK.
PALACE INTRIGUE IN THE
MEDITERRANEAN, AND THIS CLASSIC
TRAGEDY WHOSE THEMES INCLUDE
RACE, RAGE, LOVE AND JEALOUSY IS
ABOUT A NOBLE BLACK VENETIAN
GENERAL WHOSE MARRIAGE IS
SABOTAGED BY THE MOST INFAMOUS
VILLAIN IYA GO.
IT'S DIRECTED BY RUBEN SANTIAGO
HUDSON AND STARS CHUKWUDI IWUJI
AS OTHELLA AND COREY STOLL AND
HEATHER LEND AS DESDEMONA.
SO GENTLEMEN, THANK YOU SO MUCH
FOR JOINING US.
I SAW THE PRODUCTION,
OUTST
OUTSTANDING, THANK YOU SO MUCH
FOR IT.
>> THANK YOU.
>> LET ME START WITH YOU, RUBEN.
HOW AND WHY DID YOU COME TO
PARTICIPATE IN THIS PRODUCTION?
>> FIRST AND FOREMOST, IT'S MY
FAVORITE STAGE IN THE NATION.
I HAVE BEEN DOING IT FOR OVER
FOUR DECADES.
IT'S A MAGICAL PLACE, DELACORTE
THEATER IN NEW YORK.
THAT'S FIRST THING.
SECOND OF ALL, I TRIED TO WORK
MY WAY TO THE APPOINTMENT OF THE
DIRECTOR.
SO I KEPT DIRECTING AND
HOPEFULLY OSCAR WOULD TAKE NOTE.
HE TOOK NOTICE.
AND OFFERED ME THE OPPORTUNITY
TO COME AND DIRECT AND I GRABBED
IT VERY FAST.
>> SO COREY THIS IS THE THIRD
YEAR IN A ROW THAT YOU HAVE
PERFORMED IN SHAKESPEARE IN THE
PERFORMANCE.
YOU DID TROILUS & CRESSIDA AND
THIS YEAR, IAGO.
ALL THE CHARACTERS ARE VERY
DIFFERENT BUT I WONDER IF
PLAYING ULYSSES OR BRUTUS
PREPARED YOU?
>> YEAH, IT WAS A GREAT
MINISCHOOL FOR ME.
BECAUSE EACH PART IS A LITTLE
BIT MORE CHALLENGING THAN THE
ONE BEFORE IT.
AND, YOU KNOW, WITH ULYSSES,
HE -- HE IS IN SOME WAYS A PRO
TOE IAGO.
IF NOT IMMORAL, AMORAL AND THEN
BRUTUS I THINK BEING ABLE TO
HAVE THESE SOLILOQUIES TO THAT
SPACE AND IT'S A UNIQUE SPACE
AND THE BEST STAGE IN THE WORLD
TO GIVE A DIRECT ADDRESS.
TO HAVE THAT LITTLE CLINIC
BEFORE TAKING ON SUCH A BIG ROLE
LIKE IAGO IS --
>> THERE'S COUNTLESS WAYS TO
PORTRAY IAGO.
I HAVE SEEN PORTRAY HIM AS HURT.
ALMOST LIKE JEALOUS, NOT ONLY OF
CASIO, BUT DESDEMONA.
YOU PLAY HIM AS SOMEBODY WHO'S
HAVING A GREAT DEAL OF FUN.
DECEIVING AND DESTROYING THE
PEOPLE AROUND HIM.
WHY THIS VERSION?
>> WELL, I MEAN, I THINK THE FUN
IS THERE IN THE SCRIPT.
I THINK IN A LOT OF WAYS
SHAKESPEARE PUT HIMSELF INTO
IAGO.
HE'S IN SOME WAYS THE ARTIST OF
THE PLAY.
HE'S CREATING SCENES AND DRAMAS
AND SETTING THINGS UP AND
LETTING THEM PLAY OUT AND
ENJOYING WATCHING IT HAPPEN.
BUT IN TERMS OF WHAT THAT ENGINE
IS THAT FORCES HIM TO CREATE
THIS SORROW AROUND HIM, YOU
KNOW, I DON'T WANT TO GET INTO,
YOU KNOW, WHAT SPECIFICALLY I'M
WORKING WITH.
BUT THERE'S A DEEP, DEEP
INSECURITY AND SELF-LOATHING AT
HIS CENTER.
>> WHAT ROLE DOES RACISM PLAY IN
THE DYNAMICS OF THE PLAY?
>> WHAT ROLE DOES RACISM PLAY IN
AMERICA?
I MEAN --
>> WELL, THAT'S THE FOLLOWING
QUESTION.
>> YOU KNOW, IT'S INNATE.
IT'S THERE.
YOU KNOW, I MEAN, WE DON'T HAVE
TO PLAY THAT UP.
ANYBODY CAN DO THAT.
ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS READ THE
SCRIPT.
IT'S THE OTHER THINGS THAT I'M
CONCERNED ABOUT AS A DIRECTOR
THAT SOMETIMES GETS PUSHED TO
THE REAR AND TO THE BACK LIKE
LOVE.
YOU KNOW, EVERYBODY LOVES TO SEE
SOME ANGRY BLACK MAN OR SOME
INCREDIBLY AUTHORITARIAN BLACK
MAN BUT IT'S HARD TO APPRECIATE
IT BECAUSE IT WOULD MAKE US ALL
LOOK TOO -- THE SAME.
TOO ALIKE.
>> WHAT'S SO BRILLIANT ABOUT
SHAKESPEARE AND WHEN YOU DO A
PLAY AND CERTAINLY A GREAT ROLE
LIKE THIS IS YOU ARE JUST -- YOU
JUST MARVEL AT THE DEPTH OF THE
UNDERSTANDING OF THE HUMAN
CONDITION, THAT THIS ONE PERSON
HAD 500 YEARS AGO APGDZ THAT --
YEARS AGO AND THAT YOU CAN FIND
WISDOM THAT REACHES ACROSS
CENTURIES.
>> YEAH, IT'S -- HE'S SO HUMAN
AND WE IDENTIFY WITH EVERYTHING
HE WRITES.
YOU'RE A NATIVE NEW YORKER FROM
THE UPPER WEST SIDE.
HOW MUCH MORE SIGNIFICANT OR
MOVING IS BEING IN THE
SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK
PRODUCTION AS A NATIVE NEW
YORKER?
YOU WERE 3 YEARS OLD THE FIRST
TIME I SAW SHAKESPEARE IN THE
PARK PRODUCTION.
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR YOU TO
BE -- TO BE A NATIVE NEW YORKER
AND DOING THIS?
>> IT'S SUCH AN HONOR.
IT'S SO -- IT'S SO POIGNANT
EVERY TIME I -- YOU KNOW, I PASS
BY THE DIANA ROSS PLAYGROUND,
NOT CALLED THAT NOW, BUT EVERY
STONE, THE TURTLE POND AND THE
GREAT LAWN AND THE -- AND
BELVEDERE CASTLE THEY HAVE RICH.
TO BE ABLE TO STAKE CENTER STAGE
LIKE THAT WITH SUCH INCREDIBLE
MATERIAL IN A PLACE I GREW UP IS
SUCH -- IT'S REALLY HUMBLING.
>> YEAH.
WELL, GENTLEMEN, YOU HAVE DONE
AN AMAZING WORK HERE.
NEW YORKERS SHOULD REALLY BE
PROUD OF YOU GUYS AND WHAT YOU
HAVE ACCOMPLISHED.
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US
TODAY.
IT'S AN HONOR TO HAVE YOU BOTH
HERE.
>> THANK YOU FOR HAVING US.
>> THE PUBLIC THEATER'S 2018
FREE SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK
PRODUCTION OF "OTHELLO" RUNS
THROUGH JUNE 24th IN THE
DELACORTE THEATER IN CENTRAL
PARK.
FOR MORE INFORMATION LOG ON TO
OUR WEBSITE.

Mutual of America PSEG

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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