A Writer's Blog

Let the Curtain Rise

Art by Daniel Maclis


There is something wonderful happening in New York, in San Francisco, in Charlotte. The actors of the LocAL 22 of the internAtionaL AnArchists’ union are putting on Othello. LIVE!

One act a night, for five nights, these actors, from their homes, without the benefit of theatre lighting, without company sound systems, are putting on Shakespeare, right in front of your eyes.

At first, I wondered, How can a play be performed online, and possibly work? Then something extraordinary happened, the way it does every night on a stage, in front of a live audience, but now differently, in powerful and innovative ways.  

For example, how to enact a sword fight when the actors are in separate rooms, living in separate cities? What if rage were a contagion, like a virus- and yes, they went there, violently, aggressively, appropriately, coughs cutting like blades (I actually recoiled the first time one of the characters coughed in my direction).  

And that makes what’s happening on this new stage, this Zoom stage, not just wonderful, but essential. New ways of seeing. New ways of thinking. New ways of feeling.

We need theatre right now, its thundering heart, its passions, so that we remember ourselves, up close, connected, the good, the bad, the painfully separated. In Charlotte, in San Francisco, in New York, we’re getting just that, one act a night, for five nights. Thank you Iago, thank you Desdemona, thank you Cassio, thank you Roderigo, thank you Othello, thank you Shakespeare, and thank you H. Kevin Opela, director.  

To learn more about this production, or other upcoming theatre events, visit LocAL 22 of the internAtionaL AnArchists’ union, on Facebook.


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