As we progress through this Shakespearean tragedy, we’ll try to share some of the fascinating information that our dramaturges – and others – find along the way. Here we go…
• Race & gender among Shakespearean actors: Some have asked whether the character of Othello was played by black actors during Shakespeare’s time, and whether Desdemona was played by a woman. Good questions. Here’s a link to part of that answer. Trivia fans should note that in 1998, Patrick Stewart (a.k.a. Captain Pickard of “Star Trek” fame) who is white, played the role of Othello with an otherwise all black cast. Additionally, follow this link if you want to know about who the first black actor was to play the title role in a major production.
• Source of the “Othello” story: Another question we’ve received is about the genesis of the basic story line of the play. In other words, is “Othello” an original story created solely by Shakespeare? Well, the answer is simply no. Here’s some explanation.
• Geography of the “Othello” story: Another question we’ve received is about where this story takes place. The beginning of the play takes place in Venice, Italy, and the rest on the island of Cyprus. Here’s a Map for Othello.pdf that should help put this in context.
• Script and excerpts from “Othello”: So, being the geeky guy that I am, I have converted the entire script of the play into a .pdf file so you can download it, read it, print it out, whatever. I know you have been given your own copy, but you may find need to have another.
Othello (Text).pdf
• There’s an app for that: Have an iPhone, iPod or iPad? Then you may want to check out these über-geeky apps. I have most of them, in fact.
Shakespeare Pro
Shakespeare (free)
No Fear Shakespeare (free)
Shakespeare Made Easy
Othello in Manga (free)

• …more to come! Got a question? Post it below!