The Othello
© 2002

Othello 2Othello 7
photos by Brad Goda from the Honolulu Theatre for Youth production

This story carefully takes apart and reveals the tragedy of the jealous man, the man who believes he can own another. “Far from the first to take one of Shakespeare’s stories into a different era or cultural context, playwright Y York … [does] a masterful job of it here … [reframing] the story as a hip-hop love triangle …The key soliloquies are presented as modern G-rated rap. The lyrics are catchy. The emotions remain intact. York simplifies the plot as well. She redefines Iago, one of Shakespeare’s most malevolent villains, as Desdemona’s longtime friend and confidante ... In York’s telling of the story, Iago’s decision to destroy Othello is driven as much by his unrequited love for Desdemona as by Othello’s promotion of Cassio ... And so, it seems reasonable when Iago appears at one point to be wavering and actually willing to set his darkest schemes aside if he can just convince Desdemona to leave Othello and choose him. However, when Iago tells Desdemona that he loves her, she plays it off like he’s joking and laughs in his face. At that point her fate is sealed.” (Honolulu Star-Bulletin)

Commissioned and premiered by
Honolulu Theatre for Youth

Click here to view Bulldog rapping Iago's opening monologue.

Download Excerpt

Othello 4Othello 6

3 male, 1 female (plus DJ if desired)
single act, full-length
unit set


available from Dramatic Publishing
The script contains both the rapped and prose versions
of the soliloquies.

Mile Square Theatre

Shakespeare & Appropriation

A very interesting paper on this play.

Othello 5


top of page