Tuesday, June 24, 2014

"Othello" at Boscobel Aug. 24

The YWAA Boscobel outing, 2014, will feature "Othello" and familiar panoramic views of the Hudson River (HVSF photos)
YWAA invites Yale alumni, family, friends and Shakespeare enthusiasts to its 2014 annual summer outing at Boscobel. This year, the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival will present "Othello," Sunday, August 24 at Boscobel in Garrison, NY.  Yale professor Murray Biggs returns to lead a discussion of the play before the actors take the stage under the tent near the Hudson River. YWAA former president and current director Bruce Jennings '71 is again organizing the YWAA event.

Biggs will present his talk at the YWAA-sponsored reception at the Hastings Center in Garrison at 3 pm. A plan-your-own picnic follows on the grounds of the Boscobel estate at 5:30 pm. The performance will start at 7 pm.

Biggs, an expert on Elizabethan drama and a Yale faculty member since 1986, has led the YWAA discussions at the Shakespeare outing for many years. At Yale, he teaches film and acting with special attention to Shakespeare. In recent years in New Haven, he has taught Tragedy, Shakespeare Acted and British Cinema.  Last year, he guided the Yale Boscobel audience on what to observe, interpret and listen for before the HVSF's performance of "All's Well That Ends Well." Russell Treyz '65 MFA directed that performance.

Yale alumni and guests will again enjoy stunning, panoramic views of the Hudson River at the picnic on the Boscobel lawn. The HVSF will later take the stage under the big white tent, regardless of rain. Christopher Edward will direct the performance.

The Hudson Valley group approaches Shakespeare differently, sometimes with wrinkles and anachronistic plot twists, often with modern themes and updated costumes, but always loyal to Shakespearean rhythms and language.

"Othello" is one of Shakespeare's best known tragedies, written around 1603-04. For this year's "Othello" production at Boscobel, the setting is a modern military operation. Othello, a Moorish Venetian general, is newly married to Desdemona. He elects not to promote Iago as his lieutenant, and a bitter rivalry ensues that leads to tragic consequences.

Actors Leopold Lowe (as Othello) and Kurt Rhoads (as Iago) will have leading roles in the performance. Rhoads is appearing in his 16th season at Boscobel.

"Every year, the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival re-creates itself," Peter Kramer wrote in the Journal News June 5.  "The tent goes up at Boscobel and theater lovers from across the Lower Hudson Valley flock to a majestic spot overlooking the Hudson Highlands and West Point--to see what's new." Davis McCallum is HVSF's new artistic director, succeeding Terry O'Brien, who led the group for 28 summers.

To buy tickets online for the reception or performance, click YWAA-tickets to purchase them on the YWAA website. Tickets for the performance will be held for guests at the Boscobel site. To be assured of good seats under the tent, place your order before Aug. 5.

Guests who intend to have a picnic on the lawn can pack their own or place orders for a picnic dinner by calling 845-265-9575 two days before the event.

Click YWAA-Boscobel for directions to the reception at the Hastings Center and to Boscobel for the performance.

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