Theatre Preview: Othello at Agecroft Hall
Progressing with the Richmond Shakespeare Festival, the Henley Street Theatre and Richmond Shakespeare present Othello, starting Thursday, July 11 at Agecroft Hall.
The Shakespeare classic, Othello is described by the Henley Street Theatre as “a stunningly beautiful, heartbreaking depiction of overpowering love and devastating jealousy”.
Stephan Seals plays Othello, a star general and influential leader. “When you’re in a tough spot, Othello is the guy you’re going to call to lead your troops to victory,” said Powell. Even though Othello is a strong character, he is not immune to falling in love with a merchant’s daughter named Desdemona. Ryan Bechard takes the character of Iago, Othello’s false companion seeking a rise in power. “[Iago] seems to be convincingly honest, your best friend and the greatest guy ever,” said Powell. “Yet he is the most vicious, heartless, inhuman character you can imagine.” Iago’s treachery packs the play with surprising plot twists which promises to keep the audience on the edge of their seats.
Iago and Emilia
Richmondshakespeare.org stated, after 15 years, the Richmond Shakespeare Summer Festival has become an important part of the local theater scene “attract[ing] audiences from around the world.” The festival characteristically takes place in the historic Agecroft Hall “a Tudor English estate [that was] painstakingly disassembled, shipped to America, and reassembled in Richmond in the late 1920s.” Jan Powell, director of Othello, says Agecroft Hall gives the audience a unique viewing of the Shakespearean play. “This is about as close as you can get to [such an] authentic kind of experience in this country,” said Powell.
Performances take place Thursday-Sunday nights at 8pm, July 11-August 4 at the Agecroft Hall and Gardens, 4305 Sulgrave Road, Richmond, VA 23221. Guests who come early can bring a picnic dinner, lounge on the lawn, and witness performances by the Festival Young Company. “The fireflies [will be] floating around and the moon and stars [will be shining],” said Powell. “[Watching an outdoor play] is really one of the most beautiful experiences.”
Maya Earls and is a second-year journalism student at Virginia Commonwealth University. She was born in Los Angeles, and moved to Richmond in 2000. Her first journalism experience was managing social media for the Rock4Life benefit concert.She enjoys exploring Richmond on her bike and finding good views of the river. Her favorite past-time is watching people dance in their cars from her apartment window.
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