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Davidson Students Stage Shakespearean Spoof, "Good Night Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet)"

Good Night Desdemona
Rosalie Esteves and Thomas Ward are Desdemona and Othello in Good Night Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet).

October 9, 2000
Contact: Bill Giduz 704/894-2244 or bigiduz@davidson.edu

by Seth Davis '02

Davidson College students will produce Ann-Marie MacDonald's witty comedy, Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet), on stage on October 19-22 and 26-29.

Tickets for this romp through this trespass into the hallowed halls of Shakespearean tragedy are $10 general admission, $7 for seniors, and $5 for students. Reservations can be made by calling 894-2340 between the hours of 2-5 p.m., Monday through Friday, beginning October 16.

Not only does Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) surprise with its revisions of Shakespeare's plays, but it delights in turning Othello and Romeo and Juliet into comedies.

"This play is not just funny, but fun," said Sharon Green, visiting assistant professor of theatre and director of the production. "It resonates with the way in which we become obsessed with one particular thing and forget how much more we are capable of doing."

Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) was first performed by the Nightwood Theatre on March 31, 1988, at the Annex Theatre in Toronto. It follows Constance Ledbelly (Andra Whitt), a shy academic, as she warps out of the real world and into the worlds of Othello and Romeo and Juliet. Constance is obsessed with finding the sources for these two Shakespearean plays. She believes that Shakespeare revised comedies into tragedies when writing the plays, and gets a chance to test her theory.

Her journey through becomes more than just an academic exploration into the worlds of Othello and Romeo and Juliet, but also a journey into he own psyche. "Constance's journey reminds her of who she is and allows her to reclaim lost parts of herself," explains Green.

Desdemona (Rosalie Esteves) and Juliet (Bronwyn McKnew) are not the garden variety Shakespearean characters. Desdemona is domineering, aggressive, and bloodthirsty. Juliet is not the picture of pure innocence but a lustful thirteen-year-old. As the play progresses it seems that Constance has something to learn from her encounter with each of these two.

In addition to Desdemona and Juliet, the play presents many of Shakespeare's familiar characters--some revised from the original and some not. Romeo (Peter Lipsett) is as lustful as Juliet, and matters become interesting when they both fall for Constance. In Desdemona's world, Iago (Andrew Hill) is up to his normal machinations, although he may have met his match in Constance.

A panel discussion entitled "A Subversive Comedy" will immediately follow the performance on Thursday, October 26. Panelists will include the director, cast, and Davidson College faculty.

For more information, call the Davidson College theatre department at 892-2361.

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