The "Bard of Avon" will come to Marietta this weekend as a theater company from Charleston, W.Va., brings its production of "Othello" to a local stage.
Presented by the Hippodrome/Colony Historical Theatre Association and sponsored in part by Artsbridge and the Ohio Arts Council, the classic tale of forbidden love, power and betrayal will be performed at the Mid-Ohio Valley Players Theatre at 229 Putnam St.
"I don't think that Shakespeare is done very often in this area," said Geoff Coward, the play's director, who spends a great deal of time in Marietta and Charleston but calls New York City home. Coward added that "Othello" is not performed very often anywhere.
"It is not done often on the stage because it is very difficult to cast," he said.
Community theater regulars and students from Charleston were cast in the roles of Othello, Desdemona, Shakespeare's greatest villain, Iago, and others.
Coward took the liberty of whittling the piece down from 3 1/2 hours to just more than two in an effort to make it more appealing to younger audiences and the shows in Charleston have been well-received, he said.
If you go
What: Othello, a Charleston Stage Company Production, presented by the Colony Theatre.
When: Friday matinee at 9:30 a.m., evening performance at 8 p.m.; Saturday at 8 p.m.
Where: Mid-Ohio Valley Players Theatre, 229 Putnam St., Marietta.
Cost: $12/adults; $10/ seniors and students; $7/youth.
For information: Colony Theatre, 373-0894.
"With reality TV and short attention spans, I thought it was best to adapt it to make it accessible to modern audiences," he said. "I stayed true to the text because a lot of it is really relevant to what is happening today." Some of the issues in "Othello" have to do with racism and violence towards women.
High school juniors and seniors from Marietta, Warren and Federal Hocking will attend a matinee of the show on Friday morning at 9:30. Afterwards, they will be able to participate in a question and answer session with the actors, according to Coward.
The public is invited to attend all performances. Tickets can be purchased through the Colony Theatre, at Peoples News and at the MOVP box office.