Aquila's Othello Gets Modern Setting, With Actors and Audience Commingling, May 18-June 27

News   Aquila's Othello Gets Modern Setting, With Actors and Audience Commingling, May 18-June 27
Othello, the second work in Aquila Theatre company's first subscription season in Manhattan, will feature Anthony Cochrane as Iago, Richard Willis as Brabantio and Lloyd Notice as Othello, in a unique actor-audience setup.

The Off-Broadway troupe, known for its bold physicality, quirky concepts and British and American casts, presents the Shakespeare classic May 18-June 27, with opening set for June 10.

Aquila sets the play on a modern British military base on Cyprus in a new "promenade production" that places the audience with the actors, in the middle of the stage action.

Cochrane has appeared as such Aquila productions as Much Ado About Nothing (Benedick), The Iliad (Achilles) and King Lear (title role). He is an alumnus of the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Willis' Aquila credits include The Importance of Being Earnest (Jack), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Bottom) and The Tempest (Prospero).

Notice is an alumnus of the Royal Shakespeare Company where he performed in King Lear, Moby Dick, A Country Wife and Woza Albert. Othello comes to New York after completing a hugely successful and critically acclaimed 72-city national tour as part of the NEA's Shakespeare in American Communities initiative. This tour included special performances to the U.S. military supported by funding from the Pentagon, workshops on Race in America and a full educational program.

Created by Peter Meineck and Robert Richmond, Aquila's Othello is directed and adapted by Richmond and features music by Anthony Cochrane (who has created original music for numerous Aquila productions).

Aquila's premiere New York season (which devotes itself to "productions that intersect on the theme of the effects of war") began with the recent modern production of Agamemnon and concludes with the stage adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's The Man Who Would Be King, "a retelling of the classic adventure of two British rogues on a quest to conquer the wilds of Afghanistan" (July 1-Aug. 8, 2004, also at Baruch Performing Arts Center).

The Othello performance schedule is as follows: Tuesday-Saturday at 8 PM; with matinees on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday at 3 PM. Tickets ($45) are available through Telecharge (212) 239-6200.

Special two-play subscriptions for Aquila's Othello and The Man Who Would Be King ($50 for both plays) are available by phone at (212) 998-8017 or online at


Aquila Theatre Company was founded in London in 1991 by Peter Meineck to present innovative productions of classical drama. Since then the company has toured throughout the United States, Canada and Europe with annual productions in New York and London. In 1999, Aquila moved to New York and has since presented eight productions, including Homer's Iliad: Book One; Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Comedy of Errors; and Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest.

Baruch Performing Arts Center is located on 25th Street between Lexington and Third Avenues.


Initiating a new company policy, 10 percent of all tickets sold will be donated to, a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Peter Meineck is Aquila's producing artistic director, Robert Richmond is associate artistic director.

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