National Players Return To Campus

The National Players of the Olney Theatre Center returns to Central Methodist University to present Shakespeare’s Othello on Tuesday, April 3 at 7:30 p.m. in Linn Memorial United Methodist Church on the CMU Fayette campus.

The National Players are sponsored by Central’s Cultural Affairs Committee and the Student Government Association and are a yearly theatrical treat for all of Fayette. The play is free and open to all.

In Othello, the main character, a Black Moor, returns home to marry his love, Desdemona. A peerless and good-hearted military commander, meets the hate and anger that his dark skin and foreign origin create head-on. Unfortunately, he is tricked by his most trusted servant, Iago, through his web of deceit that entangles everyone in its path, destroying his life and the lives of those he loves.

National Players brings Shakespeare’s celebrated tragedy into modern light, spinning its central themes of institutional racism, unconditional trust, and the nature of identity into a barbed and brutal story of our contemporary world.

Othello is directed by Jason King Jones, the artistic director of National Players. He also serves as senior associate artistic director at Olney Theatre Center. Rounding out the creative team are Paige Hathaway (scenic designer), Seth Gilbert (costume designer), Sarah Tundermann (lighting), Roc Lee (sound), Kate Brittingham (properties, and Casey Kaleba (fight director).

Playing the roles, serving as managers, teaching artists, and technicians, this year’s players include Dylan Arrendondo, John Austin, Emily Brown, Melissa Carter, Benjamin DeCamp Cole, Amy Desrosiers, Kelsey Godfrey, Jared Graham, Simon Kiser, and Shaquille Stewart.

“What strikes me most about this play is how deeply intimate the story is,” said Jones, “both in its scale of characters and in its action. Yes, there are grand scenes, destructive storms, and raucous parties; but the story centers around matters of the heart—love, jealousy, fear, and hate.”

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