[Phoenix-eNews] PHOENIX THEATRE: Othello Lecture, Videos, Photos & Review Round Up

Information about the Phoenix Theatre @ UVic phoenix-enews at lists.uvic.ca
Wed Nov 13 19:10:23 PST 2019

Phoenix Theatre: BackstagePASS
	November 2019 • Act 13 Scene 3

If this email does not display properly, please see our website 
phoenixtheatres.ca <http://finearts.uvic.ca/theatre/enews/>

eNews <#enews>|Behind the Scenes <#bs> | Upcoming <#events> | Phoenix 
Phacts <#alumni>|Perks <#Perks> | Kudos <#sponsor>


      eNews: A story in black and white ...and grey.

It's easy to view our world in black and white. We want to believe that 
good and bad, love and hate are separate. But as Shakespeare shows us, 
life – and complex characters – live in the grey. */Othello/* is a love 
story gone wrong – not only because of another man's betrayal and 
malicious lies ... but also because of where Othello places his trust 
and his own failure to truly hear the woman that loves him.

Although it was written 400 years ago, some of the themes of Othello's 
story are mirrored in the life and career of Ira Aldridge, the first 
black man to perform the iconic Shakespearean role in Britain. Read more 
about his story below.

      Listen:Lecture of /Othello/ at the Globe**

*Lecture with Dr. Tosh, Shakespeare’s Globe
*(Audio recording from Preshow lecture on Nov. 8)

Dr. Will Tosh is a Research Fellow from Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. His 
lecture takes us back to 1600s London to discuss how Shakespeare’s 
diverse first audiences might have responded to Othello. Dr. Tosh led 
the Indoor Performance Practice Project at the Globe Theatre which 
examined how performances inside the candle-lit, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse 
were effected by its intimate architecture.
*Listen to the lecture now...* (click on Lecture tab) 

      Watch: /Othello Video/*/*<https://youtu.be/fk_Vdd0I04I>*/*

Get a sneak peek of the play and
listen to some of the "superb" live music. *

*Watch video now on YouTube* <https://youtu.be/fk_Vdd0I04I>

*Watch video now via Facebook 

      Behind the Scenes:*A Portrait of Ira Aldridge*

portrait of a man can symbolize so much.

This 1826 painting by British artist James Northcote is a beautifully 
rendered portrait of the 19-year-old actor Ira Frederick Aldridge 
(1807–1867). It was painted only one year after he had generated an 
incredible stir across London stages.

Entitled not as a portrait but only called “A Moor,” the painting was 
judged the ‘best executed’ work in the first exhibition of the Royal 
Manchester Institution (now on view at the Manchester Art Gallery 
however Aldridge was only identified as its subject in 1983.

For our production of /*Othello*/, we wanted to share his story with 
you, from his humble beginnings to a celebrated performer who 
transcended barriers.

Born a free man in America, Aldridge was educated in New York’s African 
Free School where he displayed a talent for oration. His father, a 
preacher, had hoped he would follow in his footsteps, but Ira was drawn 
to theatre. He worked backstage at the Chatham Theatre in New York where 
he received some acting experience however his ambitions to perform on 
stage were impeded by racial prejudices in America. In 1807, the British 
Parliament had passed an act prohibiting the slave trade in England. 
Aldridge perceived that these changes might increase his prospects of 
performing professionally, and in 1824, he emigrated to the UK, moving 
first to Liverpool, then performing smaller roles at theatres in Dublin 
and Edinburgh, before heading to London.

He was only 17 when he made his London debut – almost by accident – in 
the title role of Othello at the Royalty Theatre in London’s East End in 
May 1825. As a young understudy for a wildly popular London actor, the 
deck was already stacked against Aldridge; unfortunately, his race and 
youth further spawned national backlash against his performance. Since 
the time of Shakespeare, only white men in blackface performed the role 
of Othello. Aldridge's surprising appearance made him the first black 
man to play “the Moor”, and the first black actor to perform a 
Shakespearean role in Britain.

Many critics spewed racial vitriol at his performance condemning not 
only his performance but the scandal of kissing the white actress in the 
role of Desdemona. However, Aldridge also had defenders in the press who 
praised his performance as Othello and called detractors guilty of the 
/“unworthy prejudice” /that /“still lingers in the minds of weak 
persons.” /Other papers, like the Public Ledger, praised the young 
actor’s death scene as "/one of the finest physical representations of 
bodily anguish we ever witnessed"/. Another critic wrote,/"In Othello 
(Aldridge) delivers the most difficult passages with a degree of 
correctness that surprises the beholder." /Unfortunately, this 
production of /Othello/ was cancelled after only two performances.

Despite the challenges he faced, Aldridge continued to hone his craft 
and expand his repertoire. He followed his performance of Othello with a 
stint in various plays at the Coburg Theatre, but reviews were mixed and 
he found himself boycotted by the West End theatres. He chose to avoid 
the political hotbed of London and instead toured provincial theatres, 
where he played roles such as Othello, Hamlet, King Lear, Richard III, 
Shylock, Aaron (from /Titus Andronicus/, Playbill seen right) and 
Macbeth to crowded houses and much acclaim.

In 1833, when Parliament was debating a bill to abolish slavery across 
the British Empire, one of the city's most prestigious theatres 
petitioned Aldridge to return to London to perform. His appearance again 
created a great deal of controversy.

Later, offers poured in from abroad and Aldridge toured Europe, 
receiving top billet on posters from Switzerland to Russia. He was 
lauded with numerous awards, including a knighthood in Germany. By the 
latter half of his career, Aldridge was the highest-paid and most 
decorated actor of his time and had captured the hearts of audiences 
across England and Europe. He remains the only actor of African-American 
descent among those honoured with plaques at theShakespeare Memorial 
at Stratford-upon-Avon.

      Othello Media Reviews & Round Up:

*****Rewards are there
in UVic’s Othello
*Review by Adrian Chamberlain
inTimes Colonist 
(Nov. 9)

    /"Visually spectacular"... Richmond and his team have opted for a
    stylish black-and-white look that works wonderfully." /

    /"Nothing beats the opening scene. A cast of 25, all wearing white,
    files solemnly onto the ... stage and engages in a courtly dance. A
    masked girl, also in white, stands atop a movable staircase to sing
    a beautiful song, backed by strings and guitar. The music, most of
    it live [by Olivia Wheeler], was superb throughout."
    /

*Othello’s topics still relevant, expert says**
*Interview with Dr. Will Tosh from Shakespeare's Globe in Times Colonist 
(November 7)

    /"My interest in Othello is about getting behind the eyes of an
    early-modern audience member, to use the evidence and think about
    how they would have imagined Othello in that context,” Tosh said
    from his London office./

*Check the Programme* 
Mini-review on Facebook page (November 10)

    /"The Phoenix delivers in presenting how big everything feels in
    their production of Othello. Everything in the production feels
    grand... There’s an added element of comedy when Iago is left alone
    on stage with only the audience to catch that smug grin. All the
    actors turn in great performances, from the shouting cries of murder
    to the quiet, subtle moments as the tragedy reaches its end."/

*Shakespearean tragedy shines at the Phoenix**
by Sheila Martindale in*Monday Magazine* 
(November 10).

    "/Director Brian Richmond has pulled this enormous cast together and
    made it run like clockwork. Those with speaking roles are
    word-perfect, and everyone is movement-perfect. The set, designed
    by Conor Farrell and Logan Swain, consists of huge archways and sets
    of stairs being moved around to form whatever venue is required.

    /"Tallas Munro is impressive in the title role, with a fabulous
    stage presence, and Ciaran Volke puts out a great performance as
    Iago. Georgia Duff brings a mixture of imperiousness and innocence
    to the difficult role of Desdemona...//Grace Fedorchuk, plays Emilia
    with dignity and compassion... //This is an ambitious production,
    proving again the wonderful value of UVic’s drama program."/ Read

*Othello: A passionate lesson in how not to love**
by Emily Welch in *Nexus Newspaper* 
(November 8).

    /"The play is a tragedy, and the plot is vengeful. The characters
    of Othello are wonderfully imperfect, as human beings are. Tallas
    Munro is a convincing Othello: in love, easily swayed, insecure.
    Ciaran Volke plays a scheming Iago; Una Rekic is Michael Cassio, a
    “cry into my beer” character. Grace Fedorchuk needs a mention as
    Emelia—she sports so much feeling and fervour in her Shakespearean
    dialogue that I wanted to take her out and have her fendoff my
    enemies... The performance itself is a work of beauty."/ Read

*CTV Vancouver Island 
interview with Brian Richmond & Scene from /Othello/
Sawatsky Entertainment Report
(starts at ** 
29:12) (November 6).

Photography by Dean Kalyan. <https://deankalyan.com>See more photos on 
our Facebook Page Othello gallery. 


      Phoenix Phacts: Winter update on Phoenix alumni

There is so much happening in Victoria and around the region this fall, 
we know it's hard to get out and support it all – but please try! Your 
local theatre companies need your support.

The Belfry Theatre <https://www.belfry.bc.ca/bang-bang/#sp_copy>’s 
production of Kat Sandler’s play /*Bang Bang*/ continues on the 
400-year-old themes in Othello, but updated and complicated for our 
true-story, contemporary movie-making era. Alumna *Jennifer Swan* is the 
stage manager for this production which ends on November 

/*Be Still*/ is a new fictional play by alumna *Janet Munsil* inspired 
by the multiple-exposure work of Victorian photographer Hannah Maynard. 
Produced by hapax theatre <https://hapaxtheatre.com>, and running 
November 15-16 and 22-23, it features alumnae *Rachel Myers *and*Melissa 

VOS Musical Theatre <https://vostheatre.ca/fall-show/>is presenting the 
smash hit musical /*Mamma Mia*/ (November 22- December 1) filled with 
ABBA’s timeless songs. Phoenixers included are set designer Barbara 
Clerihue, choreographer Alison Roberts, and cast members Hailey Fowler 
and Ashley Richter.

Professor Emeritus and theatre historian *Jen Wise* is participating in 
Suddenly Dance Theatre’ 
<https://www.suddenlydance.ca/body-language-2019>s visual art exhibition 
and fundraiser/*Body Language*/*,* which features 22 artists from the 
region. The exhibition at Fortune Gallery (November 19 – December 1) 
explores how artists interpret the body and its expression through 
movement, gesture, form, or spirit.

<https://www.folklifemag.ca>Alumna *Alina Cerminara* has started a 
non-theatre venture that speaks to her west coast upbringing. 
/*Folklife* <https://www.folklifemag.ca>/ is a new bi-annual print 
magazine inspired by the slow, sustainable and artistic living on BC's 
Gulf Islands. Check out some online stories as they prepare for their 
first print edition.

We were sorry to have missed /*Peek Fest 2019*/ (November 4 – 10) hosted 
by Impulse Theatre <http://www.impulsetheatre.ca>that included 
workshops, performances and a visual arts showcase. Alumni involved 
include *Tiffany Tjosvold* of Embrace Arts 
<https://www.embracearts.org>, a company that supports mixed ability 
performance,*Ingrid Hansen *and*Kathleen Greenfield* of SNAFU Dance 
Theatre <https://www.snafudance.com>, *Anna Marie Anderson* of 
Collectivus Theatre <https://www.facebook.com/CollectivusT/>, *Victoria 
Simpson*,*Devon Sereda Goldie* (also current candidate for an MA in 
Applied Theatre), *Andrew Barrett* of Impulse Theatre 
<http://www.impulsetheatre.ca>, and current student *Lindsey Schneider.*


//more alumni updates? /*Check out the Alumni Profiles 
<https://www.uvic.ca/finearts/theatre/alumni/profiles/index.php>area of 
our website. Email your updates to us to be posted here in future eNews.

*<https://twitter.com/UVicPhoenix>*Follow the most recent department and 
alumni stories by liking us on*Facebook* 
or following us on *Twitter <https://twitter.com/UVicPhoenix>*. Use 
*#phoenixalumni* to stream on our alumni website or tag *@UVicPhoenix* 
for us to retweet your event!


      Sponsor Kudos:<https://productioncanada.com>

Thank you to the Phoenix Theatre's many individual donors 
<http://finearts.uvic.ca/theatre/donations/> and corporate sponsors for 
their support of our programs and talented students! A special thank you 
to this season's /Production Resource Partner, /*Production Canada 
<https://productioncanada.com>* whose support helps realize our 
designer's visions on stage.

Thanks also to our supporters over the past year from the *Cadboro Bay 
Village* <http://www.cadborobayvillage.com> including: *For Good Measure 
<http://www.forgoodmeasure.ca/>, Pepper's Foods 
<http://peppers-foods.com/>, Smugglers' Cove Pub, 
<http://www.smugglerscovepub.com/> Caddy Bay Liquor Store 
<http://www.caddybayliquor.com>, and* *Heart Pharmacy 

Find out how your company can reach our 10,000 audience members and UVic 
community of over 25,000.Contact us <mailto:aholierh at uvic.ca> to discuss 
a customized sponsorship package to meet your goals.


Phoenix eNews is a regular email magazine for those interested in the 
Phoenix Theatre, the not-for-profit productions at the University of 
Victoria's Department of Theatre, PO Box 1700, STN CSC, Victoria, BC, 
V8W 2Y2 Canada. The University of Victoria is a Registered Charity. 
Charitable Registration No. 10816 2470 RR0001

*If you no longer wish to receive this newsletter, click here 
<https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/options/phoenix-enews>* *and enter your 
address and click Un-Subscribe*. A confirmation message will be emailed 
to you. You can reply to this message to confirm that you want to be 
removed from this mailing list. This message also has a link that you 
can click on to complete the removal process.

	© University of Victoria 2019 	

@UVic Newsletter
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.uvic.ca/pipermail/phoenix-enews/attachments/20191113/427b7bd1/attachment.html>

More information about the Phoenix-eNews mailing list