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All That Glitters Ain't Gold, It's A Goldmine For Growth And Impact

  • Author(s): Dallas, DeLeon Demetrius
  • Advisor(s): Barricelli, Marc
  • et al.

When it was announced that Othello was going to be a part of the ‘Winter Season’ I was excited, as were my peers. I landed the role and could not contain my enthusiasm; however, no one, including myself, knew the impact that this role would have on me. I am classically trained and have the technique required to execute this role. So why did I feel so conflicted? It became clear to me that the more I got to know Othello, the more I realized that this role was not written for me, or any Black man for that matter. One could argue that historical implications suggest that Othello was written for none other than a Black man; however, history is exactly why I would argue the contrary. Furthermore, being the only Black man in the rehearsal room meant that I was constantly having to explain my experience and what it means to actually be Black and do this role. These are conversations I knew would come up in the room, and though it was truly exhausting for me, one of the most amazing aspects of this experience was being able to advocate and speak up for myself. This advocacy enabled me to maintain Othello’s power, regality and grace in spite of the play’s daunting history. All in all, I also appreciated how much I was stretched as both a person and an artist during this process. This process has given me the confidence needed to not only execute classical text, but also uphold my integrity as a Black man in the American Theatre.

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