Acclaimed Actors From The London Stage to Perform Othello

Monday, October 7, 2013

CHARLOTTE - Oct. 7, 2013 -  Actors From The London Stage, a self-directed ensemble of five professional British actors, will perform “Othello” at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 16, through Saturday, Oct. 19, in the Anne R. Belk Theater of the Robinson Hall for the Performing Arts.

These performances are part of a week-long residency at UNC Charlotte presented by the Department of Theatre and Shakespeare in Action.

“The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice” is William Shakespeare’s timeless story about love, jealousy and betrayal. Othello, newly married to the young Desdemona, is appointed leader of a military operation. His ensign Iago, passed over for promotion in favor of Cassio, persuades Othello that Cassio and Desdemona are having an affair.

Members of the acclaimed Othello ensemble include tour veterans Richard Neal (Iago, Duke, Gentleman), Jan Shepherd (Emelia, Roderigo, Gratiano, First Senator, Gentleman) and Alinka Wright (Desdemona, Bianca, Montano, Second Senator, Officer).  Jude Akuwudike (Othello, Clown, Gentleman) and Jack Whitam (Cassio, Brabantio, Lodovico, Officer) will join them in the cast.

One of the oldest established touring Shakespeare theater companies in the world, Actors From The London Stage is housed in England with academic tours booked through the auspices of Shakespeare at Notre Dame.  The educational program was developed in 1975 by Homer Swander at the University of California at Santa Barbara and co-founded by the renowned British actor Patrick Stewart.

The artists, comprised of five British Shakespearean actors from such companies as the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Royal National Theatre of Great Britain and Shakespeare’s Globe, among others, devote a large part of their residency time to lectures, workshops, seminars and informal meetings with students.

The UNC Charlotte performances of “Othello” are part of a national tour with stops at the University of Texas-San Antonio, Wellesley College, the United States Naval Academy, DePauw University, the University of Texas at Austin and Berea College.

Prior to the Oct. 18 performance, Shakespeare in Action will host guest speaker Ayanna Thompson, a leading scholar of Shakespeare studies, performance studies and race and a professor of English at George Washington University. In a 6 p.m. lecture in Robinson Hall, Room 103, Thompson will address the racial politics of staging “Othello” in “Othello in the 21st Century: To Perform or Not to Perform?” This talk is free and open to the public.

Tickets for “Othello” are $18 for general admission, $9 for seniors and $6 for all students and can be purchased at the Robinson Hall Box Office at 704-687-1849 or online.


Public Relations media contact:  Buffie Stephens, 704-687-5830,