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Worcester Shakespeare Company Relocates

The Worcester Shakespeare Company, a wonderful theater group hosting its seventh summer festival, has another home.  Stage performances will no longer be held at the Memorial Grove Amphitheatre at Green Hill Park in Worcester but instead at Whitin Mill complex in Northbridge.  The 50 Douglas Road location, accessible via Route 146, is only a 20-minute drive from downtown Worcester.  And, keeping true to the renowned 16th century writer, another Shakespearean play, this time, Othello, will be on hand.

What is there to know about the new venue?  The Whitin family once owned the complex, it operated as a working mill, it seats in excess of 100 people around the outdoor piazza, and it is adjacent to a river.  Tables and chairs are available, but theatergoers can bring their own seats if they wish to get up front and personal (meaning they will be closer to the stage).  Next year the Worcester Shakespeare Company schedule will be synchronized with other performances taking place at the Whitin Mill complex.  When this occurs, the play will be moved indoors in the event of inclement weather.  For this particular season, however, stormy weather may result in a canceled performance.

So, what is Othello all about?  Well, for those of you who do not remember, here are a few tidbits to whet your cultural appetite.

  • The setting takes place in Venice, so the romantic Whitin Mill outdoor plaza is a perfect backdrop.  (By the way, if you have never been to Venice, put it on your “to do” list.  If that is not possible, then the Othello performance might be the next best thing!)
  • The story is allegedly based on “A Moorish Captain,” an Italian short story published in 1565.
  • Othello, the lead character, is a Venetian military general.
  • Desdemona, Othello’s wife, is the daughter of a commanding senator.
  • Othello leaves Venice in a pivotal military role with his wife by his side to stop the Turks from overtaking Cyprus.  Unbeknownst to Othello, a storm has destroyed the Turkish army.
  • Othello’s ensign, Iago, has dishonorable motives.

Okay, too much information will give the plot away.  Still, even if you know the storyline from beginning to end, you have to see the masterpiece in action in order to fully appreciate Shakespeare’s genius and The Worcester Shakespeare Company’s talent.  Impressively, a combination of professional actors and college theater students make up the cast.

And the cost?  It is $15 for students and seniors and $20 for general attendees (therefore, “put money in thy purse”).  Children 12 and under accompanied by an adult are admitted for free.

Wow, it sounds like a great time!  For additional details about this seasonal event, go to http://www.worcestershakespearecompany.org/