David Oyelowo And Daniel Craig Will Star In Othello
David Oyelowo, famous for his role in Oscar-nominated film Selma, and Daniel Craig, the most recent actor to play James Bond, will both star in an Off-Broadway production of Shakespeare’s play Othello. The play deals with the themes of racism, betrayal, revenge, and repentance. Oyelowo will play the title role while Craig is cast as the villain Iago.
A star-studded cast and crew
The production will be staged by New York Theater Workshop, a well-known and small nonprofit. The organizers plan to host the play in a theater seating 199 for a limited time in fall of 2016. The director is Sam Gold, who won the Tony Award for best director this year. Craig has experience in theater and appeared on Broadway twice. He had expressed interest in doing New York theater again, but did not want to go back to Broadway. He reached out to Gold after seeing a play he directed. Gold got in contact with Oyelowo through a mutual friend and the actors read together.
“I’ve been wanting to do Shakespeare for a long time — it’s what started me as a director — and I’ve almost done Shakespeare a number of times in the past few years, but it hasn’t worked out,” Gold said. “Finally, the right thing came together.”
They were all very interested in doing Othello
Othello tells the story of a Moorish (dark-skinned) general in the Venetian army. He elopes with a woman named Desdemona, the daughter of a senator. Roderigo loved her and hates Othello for stealing her from him. Iago hates Othello for promoting a younger man named Cassio above him and believes that he seduced his wife Emilia. The two men conspire to take Othello down. The play has been adapted into an opera, ballet, and movie.
“Honestly, I wanted to start with a really simple, straight-shot Shakespeare, and ‘Othello’ is a single-plot show, very focused and clear,” Gold said. “‘Othello,’ for me, is the Shakespeare that when I watch, I feel the most involved — I care the most about the people, and have the simplest connection on a gut level, so I wanted to start there. But I’ll do more of them.”