Reflection on otelo – Best Sample Solutions(2022)

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Plays are meant to be performed rather than read. The purpose of dramatic arts often extends far beyond the words written on a page—staging, lighting, costumes intonation, expression, and audience experience are all part of the experience of a theatrical production. To help develop your understanding of Othello and the cultural role of the dramatic arts, you will view a production of the play this week and write a two-page reflection to explain your viewing experience. Please make sure you review the Assignment Connection portion of this week\’s lesson, as it will provide some additional help. 

Below, please find two adaptations of Othello.

Otelo (Links to an external site.) (Spanish version)

Othello (Links to an external site.)

Solution

Reflection on otelo

            I selected the ‘otelo’ performance (Bittencourt, 2014). After reviewing the first ten minutes of each performance, I chose to continue watching the Portuguese adaptation ‘otelo’ for its contemporary yet outstanding performance. Othello, written by William Shakespeare (1564-1616), is a historical piece that has transcended over time and adapted to be performed to diverse audiences and in different languages. This ‘otelo’ performance, a production from Persona Cia de Teatro, stands out because it adopts Shakespeare’s work from a different historical time and presents it to a modern audience through visuals and performances that are relatable to the contemporary audience. The adaptation utilizes modern lighting, staging, costumes as well as characters, to create a relatable version of the play, highly appealing to a modern audience.

Performance

            Otelo is set on a modern theater platform set to model a modern layout. With two desks, chairs and storage units, the stage mirrors a typical contemporary office, and living room setting. The staging allows the audience to feel more immersed in the production. Given “Othello” was written in a historical context, adapting the play in a modern context is interesting to most of the audience, and will make them understand the play better. Lighting is used to help underline all those within the play at any given time and advance specific themes. The lighting also takes a contemporary approach with the use of a spotlight and general lighting. Unlike most Othello adaptations, this performance uses modern formal wear as costumes. Each character has costumes that are similar to modern wear. The use of suits for men, and formal dressing for women, ensure that the audience can relate to each character based on their visual representation.

Mood and tone

            One of the outstanding aspects of the play is the devices it uses to create a mood or amplify a tone. Dramatic sound in the beginning set, set to create suspense, and amplify the changes in the tones of the characters, as well as additions such as contemporary celebratory music, make the play lively and engaging. Besides, the play creates a tone of cynicism and manipulation. It highlights how the actions and beliefs of one can hurt others around him. The play also shows how manipulative words, gestures, and actions can be used to influence the beliefs of others. Lara, the secretary, embodies the tone and uses it to influence the beliefs of Othello on his marriage, instigating cynicism in love and jealously themed story.

Parts of the play easier to understand

            The performance’s display of emotion using modern visuals and displays, such as having characters smoke cigarettes as they reflect on their understanding of the world around them, makes it easier to understand a relationship. The detail especially on lighting and visuals, such as displaying lighting to show daybreak and the murder of Othello’s wife using a pillowcase as well as his grief after the murder. The inclusion of a musical in the final scene is also exemplary, thought-provoking, and helps portray the emotion and substance in the play. The detail of the visual, sound and music, and character actions stand out, leading to one excellent adaption of the original work.

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Reflection on otelo
Reflection on otelo

Role of theater in contemporary culture

            Theater provides a platform to understand the past, present, and even future societies. In particular, this performance highlights the need to create relatable yet appealing and engaging depictions. The performance highlights the role of theater in informing contemporary culture on how human interactions influence individual actions and the collective impact it has on society. By adopting a script more than 400 years old and performing it in a contemporary way, the performance suggests that theater has the role of depicting ancient stories in a way that’s relatable and appealing to contemporary societies. The creativity of theater, as such, should in performing contextual pieces in a manner that connects to the contemporary audience.

References

Bittencourt, J. (2014). Otelo [Film]. Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil: https://globalshakespeares.mit.edu/otelo-bittencourt-jefferson-2014/.

Question

Plays are meant to be performed rather than read. The purpose of dramatic arts often extends far beyond the words written on a page—staging, lighting, costumes intonation, expression, and audience experience are all part of the experience of a theatrical production. To help develop your understanding of Othello and the cultural role of the dramatic arts, you will view a production of the play this week and write a two-page reflection to explain your viewing experience. Please make sure you review the Assignment Connection portion of this week\’s lesson, as it will provide some additional help. 

Below, please find two adaptations of Othello.

Otelo (Links to an external site.) (Spanish version)

Othello (Links to an external site.)

Reflection on otelo - best sample solutions(2022) 1

(1981, William Marshall version)

You may also find this short interview helpful:Is Othello a Racist Play?  (Links to an external site.)

Reflection on otelo - best sample solutions(2022) 1

For this assignment, you will view one of the above versions of Othello. You will also find this website (Links to an external site.) valuable in helping you understand how to analyze a play. Once you\’ve gone through the website link and watched the play, please complete a reflection that addresses the following.

  • Identify the performance that you have selected and why you chose that performance.
  • Describe the staging, lighting, costumes, and characters of the performance. How do these match or revise the written version of the play?
  • What type of mood and tone does the performance create? How?
  • What parts of the play are easier to understand through performance? What are some details that stood out through the performance?
  • What does the performance suggest about the role of theater in contemporary culture? (Please write a strong paragraph that thoughtfully answers this question

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