The UAlbany Performing Arts Center, operating under the auspices of the College of Arts and Sciences and in conjunction with the NYS Writers Institute with support provided by the Office of Intercultural Student Engagement, UAlbany Foundation, University Auxiliary Services and Holiday Inn Express, is pleased to present American Shakespeare Center in a performance of Othello on Thursday, November 7, 2013 at 7:30pm. Performed in true Shakespearian style, there will be audience members seated on three sides, the play will be presented in full light, set design will be minimal and live acoustic music will be performed before the play and during intermission.  The troupe consists of eleven actors so several play more than one role, another aspect of Elizabethan playgoing.

In this magnificently complex study of extremes, Shakespeare pairs his loving and trusting leading man with one of the most conniving and ruthless villains in literature. The radiant language of love transforms into delirious ravings as his characters descend into jealousy, fear, and rage. Both expansive and claustrophobic, Othello is Shakespeare at the height of his creative power— a ravishing and unforgettable classic.

“I think Othello is a powerful and sexy piece of theatre,” says Director and ASC CoFounder/Artistic Director Jim Warren.  “I think it can play like a runaway locomotive going downhill that picks up more and more speed before it jumps the tracks and leaves characters decimated and dead and audiences shocked and rocked in its wake. I also think it’s a funnier play than most people realize…the humor breathes more when you leave the lights on and talk to the audience, making them part of the world of the play. And when Iago speaks directly to you, he turns you into a fellow conspirator to bring down the mighty Othello.”

Based in Virginia, the American Shakespeare Center (ASC) recovers the joys and accessibility of Shakespeare’s theatre, language and humanity by exploring the English Renaissance stage and its practices through performance and education.  The ASC’s Blackfriars Playhouse, the world’s only re-creation of Shakespeare’s indoor theatre, is open year-round for productions of classic plays which have been hailed by The Washington Post as "shamelessly entertaining" and by The Boston Globe as "phenomenal…bursting with energy." Founded in 1988 as Shenandoah Shakespeare Express, the group performed at UAlbany under that name in 2000. The organization became the American Shakespeare Center in 2005.

“Touring has always been at the heart of what we do,” says Warren. “Part of our mission is to show how accessible, meaningful and fun Shakespeare can be to people locally, regionally and across the nation.  We modeled ourselves on Shakespeare's own company, which also toured, so we're designed to turn every space we play into feeling like a raucous Elizabethan theatre.  As we celebrate turning 25 this year, we're also completing Shakespeare's canon of 38 plays. Our Anniversary World's Mine Oyster Tour, which will hit 18 states, is part of our year-long party with three great Shakespeare plays:  Othello, The Merry Wives of Windsor and Henry IV, Part1.”

Advance tickets are $15 for the general public and $10 for students, seniors and UAlbany faculty-staff.  Tickets purchased on the day of the show are $20 for the general public and $15 for students, seniors and UAlbany faculty-staff.  For reservations and further information, contact the Box Office at (518) 442-3997

There will also be a special morning matinee performance of Othello for high school groups on the same day at 10am. Limited seating is available.  Information and reservations for this matinee are available by calling the Performing Arts Center office at (518) 442-5738.