The Community College of Rhode Island Players will close their 2022 Summer Repertory theater season this week with Othello, a modern-era adaption of Shakespeare’s classic tragedy.

Othello premiers Thursday, August 25 at 7:30 pm at CCRI’s Bobby Hackett Theatre in Warwick and continues with 7:30 evening shows Friday and Saturday before concluding its run Sunday at 2. Tickets can be purchased online at priced at $20 for general admission and $15 for CCRI students, faculty, staff, and seniors.

Directed by CCRI alumnus David J. Valentin of West Greenwich, RI – a performer during the Players’ Summer Rep season in 2017 – and Assistant Directed by Class of 2020 alumna Erika Fay Greenwood of Cranston, RI, the Players’ adaptation of Othello is set in 1973 toward the end of the United States’ involvement in the Vietnam War, whereas as Shakespeare’s original version takes place during the 16th-century Ottoman–Venetian War. 

Contributed image.

CCRI’s Summer Rep series, now in its fourth season, offers students the opportunity to put their own unique twists on Shakespeare’s classic works. Valentin, who starred in the 2017 production of Twelfth Night, encouraged a “collaborative process” during the show’s production, allowing the Players to add their own revisions and alterations to the script as long as they reflected Valentin’s vision for the show. He chose the Vietnam War as a theme to make the production more relatable to today’s audiences.

According to a press release from CCRI, Othello stars Class of 2022 alumnus Eddy Tavares (Pawtucket, RI) as Othello; Kit Martinez (East Greenwich, RI) as Othello’s wife, Desdemona; Courtney Satterley (Portsmouth, RI) as Iago; and Liam Roberts (Warwick) as Emilia, Iago’s significant other. Other members of the ensemble cast include: Ashley Aldarondo (Bianca/Duke), Ryan Alexander (Roderigo), Nate Campbell (Montano), Micaela Chille (Second Senator/Flower Child), Keyanna Mulvey (Gentleman/Messenger/Singer), Mary Poalino (First Senator/Lodovico), Chris Ricci (Brabantio), Elijah Russell (Cassio), and Cole Stanley (Gratiano/Singer).

In addition to her role as Assistant Director, Greenwood is the play’s costume designer and also plays a small role in the ensemble cast. Summer Rep returned to CCRI this year following a two-year absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Valentin points to the camaraderie between student actors – “the relationships you build during the process,” he said – as one of the many benefits of the Summer Rep program.

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