Othello Performance Reflection

May 9, 2010
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Kill that Villainous Whore

I was facedown on the floor. The pain in my knee told me the forming bruise would be there for at least a week. I was surprised and dazed but mostly angry. Cursing in my head, I thought about how ashamed Iago would be. He’d have been caught already. You don’t kill your wife and then fall while escaping. That’s just something good murderers don’t do. ‘Get up, get up! They can’t catch you! You have to escape!’ IagoMe thought. ‘Get out!’ Casting a final, what I hoped looked, desperate and fuming glance behind me- ‘Check how much of a head start you still have.’- I leaned my weight on my still throbbing knee and began to sprint.

Our performance certainly didn’t go as smoothly as I had hoped. There were issues we didn’t anticipate, issues we did anticipate, and a lot of the time it felt like we were going a lot slower than we had while practicing it. I imagined, for Iago at least, that this was the everything-comes-down-to-this night in which all his setup dominos begin to fall before his very eyes, but he can do nothing to stop them. Emilia spills everything but I was constantly trying to figure out a way to make her shut up without giving the charade away myself. I was thinking things along the lines of “How do you kill someone without anyone else noticing?” because I think that sounds vaguely appropriate.

At the same time, Iago is realizing that nothing he can do can save him now. Anxiety, desperation, anger at his helplessness (and Emilia), were the emotions I tried to convey through my expressions. I also tried backing up, so I could bolt at a second’s notice, and I wrung my hands for a while. Although that felt a little awkward, so I stopped. I also let my hands fidget towards my sword because I really wanted to kill that villainous whore.

Even with our mistakes/incidents, I thought that there were a lot of things that went really right. Montano and Iago racing down the stairs worked well, I thought. Diamond was doing what might’ve been some of her best acting while pretending to read the letter- I didn’t even realize she didn’t know her next line until Zach stepped in. The whole struggling/forcing-onto-stage thing Ian and I did went pretty well I think, though half my struggle was the beginning of a limp.

If we could do it again, I definitely would’ve wanted to change our speed. I really felt like I was trying to push it often because I wanted it to be more like our practices. The dynamic between Kathryn and me is usually a lot better because our speeds would work with each other. During the performance, that was off. But hey, Iago’s freaking out. I don’t think he’d take ten seconds to yell a couple words at his wife.

I know I keep focusing on this, but I feel like it’s important. If we could do it again, I would not fall. I’m actually not mad at myself for messing up and tripping, but I am upset that I confused the audience. Falling right after ‘The woman falls!’ is probably not the best thing. I’m also a little upset that I didn’t lie and say it was on purpose during the after-scene comments. I could’ve said “Yeah, Iago was just so… off-balanced and freaked out that we literally made him off-balanced. And flat on his face.” I just don’t know how well that would’ve worked with ‘Escaping after killing the wife.’

Along with some confusion from the fall, I think the audience also got a lot out of Montano speaking directly to them. I wasn’t really there for most of those but I think it’d be pretty cool to have an angry, nobility guy yell at you. I thought they probably got some funnies out of our sword fight too, because I completely missed and stabbed Emilia in the shoulder or something. This was a little odd, because I was aiming for the stomach. However, even with these problems, I think our group did an acceptable job and the audience was able to get a lot out of the performance.

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