Now that I'm a bit more awake and I can't say I've done a brain dump to get this show out of my head, because it just won't leave me. That's not normal behavior. The images, the poetry, the hard work, the fun moments, all come swirling back when I let my brain go and am not focused on something else. In fact, today it seems hard to focus on something else.
We really climbed a mountain with this show. We climbed it well. I've been associated with well over 200 shows now in my professional career and while I have remembrances of them all, only about 10 or so really stand out as ones that I truly recall as special. Othello now jumps into that small handful.
Part of that has simply to do with the fact that it is Shakespeare. Part of that is the thrill of working with this excellent cast. And a big part of that goes back to Saturday, when I saw those children leaving the theatre, eyes wide as saucers, looking like they had just experienced Disneyland for the first time.
It so saddens me that we have turned so many off to Shakespeare, and in fact, the live theatre in general. It is such a powerful forum for ideas, where no one can be hurt but an idea being expressed. And yet, it can be such a transformation and agitating medium as well. There is a story of a production of Othello that opened in London after the Restoration, where an audience literally stormed the stage to keep the Moor from strangling Desdemona. The theatre can ignite passions. But, as we honor the observance of 9/11 today, and deal with the stupid political mindgames that have happened since in this country over things like 9/11 widows, docudramas, and memorials, it strikes me there is much to be gained by emotions and passions brought to a boil in a theatre over a play, than they current cauldron we stew in daily. I'm not saying Shakespeare, or the theatre for that matter, is some amazing cure all for societies ills. But I will say that the reason we have shunned the performance of the spoken word, is that we are afraid to look in the mirror so closely. Which is really amazing, when you consider just how much we must enjoy the pain of continually repeating our mistakes as human beings. For why else would we continue doing so, if we didn't enjoy it so much. Or is it just some hubristic ride on Daedaleus' wings? Or, attempting to bring this ramble full circle, is it that we all have a little bit of Iago inside our soul, yearning to destroy and be destructive?
For my money, I think we do.