at Shakespeare on the Rocks
Shakespeare’s on the Rock Othello was quite an enjoyable treat. Cornelia Patterson’s vision came alive at The Chamizal Memorial park theater on September 24, 2016. Patterson’s vision had minimal to no visual props at certain times this did add to the acting it created an intimacy with the audience. Those times that the audience did connect with some of the main characters were when less props where on stage usually through monologues I think the director wanted to established intimacy. And at other times the props played a great ambiance
Three of characters stood out the most for me: Cassio, Othello, and Emilia. Cassio which was played by Justin Arnsworth, Othello played by Anthony Michael Strokes, and Emilia played by Hannah Macfarling. Cassio was what I envisioned as a lieutenant he was strong but somehow was approvable, very naïve and simply aloof. The way that Arnsworth portrayed him was perfect he gave a credible performance in the way that he was naïve enough to allow all this debauchery but yet firm to lead an army. Cassio very naïve to plotting and the scheming of Lago. The portrail of his sincere love of serving the army and loyalty lead to the tragedy. Othello was the best male lead he was such a stronger character that I think he would have been better playing Lago. Strokes was almost a Villain as Othello he was likeable he established that from the very start of the play. Even though when he killed his wife I felt like I could forgive him for his wrong doing. Storkes delivered a strong performance of someone I love to hate who was driven by passion and love but was encountered by tragedy. I enjoyed the scenes with this actor they were intense and not over the top. Emilia was the strongest female lead she was believable and played a great villain also even though she was not a villain by choice. Macfarling was very likeable when she become the villain in the play I almost wanted to shout my lungs out. No how can that be? Macfarlane confession at the end was sincere and thoughtful she really did it for her husband’s sake. She was unaware that her helping him would lead to tragedy. That was exactly how the play was written and that actress made it her own and left no room for other interceptions. The part of Lago which was played by Jonathan Cantrell was lacking intimacy I did not believe that he was this plotting man out for revenge it almost seems out of place and weird. Lagos character was crucial to this play at times his monologues dragged or the audience did not connect to them. For me this character need some building and more charisma. Overall the play was good and I would watch it again but if I had my way I would switch the actors which portrayed Lago and Othello.
Overall I rate this three and half Liza's!
By: Luisa Morado