The Last Othello
by Robert Joseph Ahola
Paul Robeson and Uta Hagen who once headlined the longest running Shakespeare ever on Broadway, and who spent a large portion of their careers on "The HUAC Blacklist," meet 20 years later, just before Robeson's last performance of Othello at Stratford-on-Avon. A poignant portrait of the most powerful influence for political change in the history of Black America, The Last Othello gives a shattering insight into Paul Robeson in his later years - a Promethean actor, singer and activist who ultimately became a casualty to his own courage and unwillingness to bend.
This play has two scenes in one setting, (Scene 2 is an Epilogue): Paul Robeson’s Dressing Room at Stratford on Avon. It is replete with a large lighted set of mirrors and comfortable, if inexpensive, theatre furniture, including a chaise lounge. Properly set at angles toward the audience the mirrors can and should play an extraordinary fourth character in the play, and should be able to reflect the characters’ every aspect whenever they speak. This is a creative conundrum of course to lighting and set. But, as any good production should challenge both the design and the director, it will enhance the dramatic power of the presentation five fold.
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