Update: 4/9/2014 10:48 a.m.
The GW Shakespeare Company presents “Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet)” through April 5th at 7 and 10 p.m. at Lisner Downstage.
The play is directed by Sara Glance and brings together the famed works “Romeo and Juliet” and “Othello” with a fresh take on the centuries old classics.
“It was taking Shakespeare’s works and twisting them. What you always wish to happen, what would happen to Romeo and Juliet if they lived and how the story would change,” director Sara Glance said.
The play has a distinguished sense of humor. Written by Ann-Marie MacDonald in 1988, the comedic play premiered in Toronto and tells the story of a young English literature professor who goes on a preconscious journey of self-discovery.
“I think that this play is very intriguing because there is a person who is modern involved. It’s clashing two historical times,” said Negi Esfandiari, who plays Desdemona, Ramona and Mercutio.
“Anyone can interpret Shakespeare play in any way they want to, whether it would be comedy or tragedy,” said Spencer Tollo who plays Romeo, Iago, ghost, and is in the chorus.
The rehearsals went well even with the challenge all five actors faced playing multiple characters in the performance.
“I know it spoke to me because we all want to be a part of Shakespeare in some way,” said Marissa Dever who plays Constance Ledbelly.
What would Shakespeare think if he saw this production?
“It’s special because it takes two literal classics and puts comedic twists on them and really plays with the characters and explores what would happen, but it is a very strange play. I think he would be similarly amazed to see it and he would have a nice laugh on it,” said Colin O’Brien who plays Othello, Tybalt, Professor and Nurse.
“I would like to think that he would enjoy it. He’s a very open-minded creative playwright… it’s a very interesting and unique interpretation of some of his best and classic plays,” said Tollo.
Shakespeare’s plays are timeless and convey relevant messages to GW students living in the 21st century.
“Desdemona says at the end that we are going to live by questions not by their solutions, it’s more about exploring knowledge rather than just obtaining the answer which she was essentially doing for the whole play. It encourages people ask questions and be more spontaneous and do it in a funny way!” says Esfandiari.
GW Shakespeare Company will present their last play of the semester, “The Taming of the Shrew,” from April 24 through April 26.