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Commonwealth Shakespeare Announces Casting for ‘Othello’


Seth Gilliam

Seth Gilliam

Commonwealth Shakespeare Company (CSC) is pleased to announce the casting for the company’s 15th annual free Shakespeare on the Common production, William Shakespeare’s immortal drama, Othello, directed by CSC Founding Artistic Director Steven Maler. Othello will be performed at the Parkman Bandstand on Boston Common from July 28 to August 15. The cast includes Seth Gilliam as Othello and James Waterston as Iago, as well as a list of local favorites including Marianna Bassham, Adrianne Krstansky, Dan Roach, and Fred Sullivan, Jr.

Othello, known as one of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedies, is a captivating story about the fall of a charismatic Moorish general through the betrayal of one of his most trusted soldiers. Set against a backdrop of war, Othello is a powerful story about love and jealousy that focuses on the passions and personal lives of its major figures. Othello, with its intimate domestic setting, is widely regarded as the most moving of Shakespeare’s great tragedies.

Othello will be performed July 28 – August 15 Tuesday through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 7 p.m., weather permitting. Performances take place outdoors at the Parkman Bandstand on Boston Common and are presented in partnership with the City of Boston and Mayor Menino.

CSC productions have become a beloved civic institution and are expected to draw an estimated 100,000 people over 18 performances. All performances are free and open to the public of all ages.

The Cast
Seth Gilliam (Othello) is best known for his portrayal of Sgt. Ellis Carver on HBO’s The Wire and as Clayton Hughes on HBO’s Oz. His theater credits include Richard III (Prince Edward, New York Shakespeare Festival); Saint Stanislaus Outside the House (MCC Theater); Jean Genet’s The Maids (Madame, Classic Stage Company NYC); Iphigenia and Other Daughters (Orestes, Classic Stage Company NYC); Hey Little Walter (Playwrights Horizons); Man at his Best (Playwrights Horizons); Dogeaters (LaJolla Playhouse); Topdog/Underdog (Lincoln, Philadelphia Theatre Company); A Soldier’s Play (Soldier, Ojai Music Festival); Suzan-Lori Parks’ Father Comes Home from the Wars (Homer, The Public Theatre); and Margaret Edson’s Wit (Dr. Posner, Union Square Theatre). Other TV credits include Assault at West Point (Showtime), The Cosby Show (NBC), Law and Order & Law and Order: Criminal Intent (NBC), CSI: Miami (CBS), Nurse Jackie (Showtime), As the World Turns (CBS), and Mercy (NBC). Film credits include Did You Hear about the Morgans?, Starship Troopers, Courage Under Fire, The Great New Wonderful, Tar, Mr. Wonderful, Personal Velocity, and On Board.

James Waterston

James Waterston

James Waterston (Iago) has starred in many productions in New York, including The Importance of Being Earnest (Jack, Brooklyn Academy of Music); As You Like It (Orlando, New York Shakespeare Festival); A.R. Gurney’s Buffalo Gal (Primary Stages); and Brooke Berman’s A Perfect Couple (WET). Regional favorites include Mark Antony in Julius Caesar (A.R.T.); Randy in Children (Williamstown); Richard in Ah, Wilderness! (Huntington Theatre Company), and Sir Andrew in Twelfth Night. He has also performed in three seasons at Old Globe, three seasons playing piano for Greylock Project at Williamstown Theatre Festival and three seasons at The Sundance Institute June Lab. Film/TV credits include: The Good Wife (CBS), Six Feet Under (HBO, recurring), Live from Baghdad (HBO), The Electric Company, ER, Dead Poets Society, Christy (Hallmark), and Little Sweetheart. Upcoming plans include a tour of France in 2011 reprising his role of Brutus in Julius Caesar, David Simon’s Treme (HBO) and the film Certainty, written by Boston’s own Mike O’Malley.

Marianna Bassham (Desdemona), an Elliot Norton Award-winning actress and a veteran of the Boston theater scene, is currently starring in Stoneham Theatre’s production of Gaslight. Dan Roach (Cassio) was last seen at CSC in last year’s The Comedy of Errors, and has appeared in numerous Off-Broadway productions and on stages in Los Angeles. Adrianne Krstansky (Emilia) is an Elliot Norton award-winning actress who has been seen in many productions around Boston, most recently in the A.R.T.’s production of Paradise Lost, and teaches acting at Brandeis University. Fred Sullivan, Jr. (Brabantio/Gratiano) played Egeon in last year’s The Comedy of Errors, Jaques (Elliot Norton award- Outstanding actor) in CSC’s As You Like It, and is also a longtime member of Trinity Rep Company’s resident acting company. Jeremy Browne (Montano), no stranger to the bard’s plays, was last seen in CSC’s The Comedy of Errors, as well as King Lear and Much Ado About Nothing with Hampshire Shakespeare Company. McCaela Donovan (Bianca) has been seen in many productions both in Boston and New York City, including CSC’s original production of Shakespeare on Love, and recently played Yum-Yum in New Repertory Theatre’s production of Hot Mikado.

The Company of CSC’s Othello also includes Grayson Powell (Roderigo), Philippe Bowgen (Lodovico), John McGinnis (Duke), Arthur Barlas (Senator 1), Arthur Waldstein (Senator 2), Nicholas Crandall (Clown), Greg Coughlin (Ensemble), and Terrell Sledge (Ensemble).

The Creative Team
Steven Maler (Director) most recently directed A Shakespearean Cabaret with Commonwealth Shakespeare Company and New England Conservatory as part of First Night Boston 2010 and CSC’s production of The Comedy of Errors on Boston Common. As the founding Artistic Director of CSC, he has directed all of their productions. His CSC production of Much Ado About Nothing won the IRNE Award for Best Director, his Twelfth Night won the Elliot Norton award for “Best Production,” his first CSC production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream won the Elliot Norton Award for “Outstanding Director,” his production of Suburbia for the SpeakEasy Stage Company won the Norton Award for “Best Production,” and his production of John Kuntz’s Starf***ers won the Norton Award for “Best Solo Performance.”

Patrick Lynch (scenic design) is a 2008 Motif Award-winner for his scene design of Figaro at the Brown/Trinity Consortium. David Reynoso (Costume Design) is a 2010 Elliot Norton Award winner (Outstanding Costume Design) for last year’s CSC production The Comedy of Errors. Justin Townsend (Lighting design) won an Elliot Norton award in 2007 for his design on The Onion Cellar at the American Repertory Theater and is a member of the Obie Award-winning Theatre of a Two Headed Calf. David Remedios (sound design) has a Connecticut Critics Circle Award for his design of No Exit with Harford Stage and an Elliot Norton Award for Mother Courage and Her Children at the American Repertory Theater.

Compiled from the press release courtesy of the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company (website | profile | tag archive).

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