Actors’NET Produces Fine OTHELLO

by Robert Beizer

Carlo Campbell of Philadelphia stars in the title role of Shakespeare's monumental tragedy, OTHELLO, at Actors'NET of Bucks County.

The Actors’NET of Bucks County in Morrisville, has mounted a handsome production of William Shakespeare’s OTHELLO. Director Cheryl Doyle has assembled a fine mix of Actors’NET regulars and some newcomers.

OTHELLO is a dark, complex play of lies and deceits couched in believed friendship, loyalty and trust. Iago, “Ancient” soldier in the service of General Othello is overtaken by his hatred for Othello, who has passed him over for promotion and by his jealousy of Lieutenant Cassio. He plots the downfall of both men by ruining the reputation of Cassio and by destroying Othello’s love for his new bride Desdemona with the seeds of doubt of her fidelity. As in all his tragedies, Shakespeare lets Chaos reign as a web is wound tighter around all the protagonists.

The set, designed by George Hartpence, uses an open platformed stage with a variety of playing areas. In the manner of The Globe Theatre, props and set pieces are moved on and off stage as they are needed for each scene.

Mr. Hartpence is credited with staging the play as well as starring in the production as the malevolent Iago, a role to which he brings his considerable Shakespearean experience. He is aided by his real life wife, Carol Thompson, as on stage wife Emilia, who unwittingly, assists Iago in his scheming against Othello.

Newlyweds Desdemona (Tess Ammerman of Arneytown,NJ) and Othello (Carlo Campbell of Philadelphia) share a happy moment in OTHELLO, running at Actors'NET of Bucks County through June 26.

Tess Ammerman, recently returning from study abroad at the London Academy of Dramatic Arts, creates in a fine performance as the love-struck Desdemona.

Another experienced local actor, Brian Jason Kelly, brings the role of Michael Cassio, Othello’s loyal Lieutenant to life.

Carlo Campbell, a local actor with screen and TV credits, appears in his first ever Shakespeare play as the tragic Moor, Othello.

Mort Paterson, another experienced hand, appears as Desdemona’s bereft father and Venetian Senator Brabantio. Aaron Wexler plays the “fool” Roderigo, a wealthy Venetian, misused throughout the play by the machinations of Iago. Jack Bathke doubles as The Duke of Venice and Lodovico; and also acts as Dramaturg for the production.

Period costumes were designed by Cheryl Doyle who also designed and operated the music and sound effects. Adrena Wishnie has created an effective lighting design for the show. Stage Combat scenes were choreographed by Stephen Kazakoff. Mort Paterson acted as Verse Coach and Mathew Cassidy is the production’s Stage Manager.

This OTHELLO is a worthy addition to Actors’NET’s long line of Shakespeare productions.

by William Shakespeare
Directed by Cheryl Doyle
Staged by George Hartpence
June 10 – 26, 2011
The Actors’NET of Bucks County
635 N. Delmorr Ave
Morrisville, PA

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