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Moor the Merrier

Ohio Shakespeare Fest caps its season with the classic Othello.

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Despite its iambic-pentameter scheming and super-shady characters, Othello isn’t a total downer, insists Terry Burgler, director of the Ohio Shakespeare Festival production now playing at Stan Hywet. “It has many lighter moments,” he says.

The Bard’s famous play centers on foreign-born general Othello and his wife Desdemona, the daughter of a prominent senator. Despite their controversial marriage, all goes well till Iago (played by Burgler) is passed over for a big promotion on Othello’s staff. So he plots his boss’ downfall by attacking his greatest weakness: his all-consuming love for his bride. “Iago controls the pace of the play,” says Burgler. “He’s the manipulator -- [drawing you] into his world, however perverse.” While many troupes adapt the 400-year-old tragedy to a more modern setting, Burgler wanted to end the Shakespeare Fest’s season on an authentic note. “We remain in period,” he says. “The language rolling off the tongue, combined with the understanding of the human dynamic, is absolutely seductive.”
Aug. 10-12, 8 p.m.; Aug. 16-18, 8 p.m.

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