Springs Ensemble Theatre, opens Thursday, Feb. 6, runs 7:30 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays, 4 p.m. Feb. 16 and 23, Springs Ensemble Theatre, 1903 E. Cache La Poudre St., $15, $10 student rush tickets available five minutes before the show; 357-3080, springs ensembletheatre.org
This is "Othello" like Shakespeare never imagined.
Springs Ensemble Theatre presents Pulitzer Prize-winner Paula Vogel's 1994 play, "Desdemona: A Play About a Handkerchief," which features an all-female cast.
Vogel flips the classic play on its head, telling it from the perspective of Othello's doomed wife, Desdemona.
In Shakespeare's version, she was a sympathetic character, strangled by her jealous husband over the villain Iago's strategic placement of a handerkchief. Vogel paints her as much more scandalous - a woman who's slept with all of the men in her husband's military encampment and relishes the kissing and telling.
Sarah S. Shaver brought the script to the company. She plays Emilia, Desdemona's servant and wife of Iago.
"I love Paula Vogel. I have great respect for her," Shaver says. "I like that it's the woman's point of view. Beth (director Alysabeth Clements Mosley) has a spiel about how in 'Othello,' the men don't move the story. It's the women who make the choices, like Desdemona's decision to marry outside of what was expected of her and leave her father's house. That was bold of her in that time."
Leah Jenkins reprises the role of Desdemona. She played the character in Star Bar Players' 2012 production of "Othello." Kala Roquemore plays the third character - the town prostitute, Bianca.
If you haven't seen or read "Othello," you'll still be able to appreciate "Desdemona," Shaver says, though she thinks it'll be juicier if you're familiar with the classic tale.
And WWSD? What would Shakespeare do?
"I think he's a really fun guy," Shaver says. "He likes some bawdiness. I think he would have a hell of a time."
Contact Jennifer Mulson, 636-0270, email@example.com
"The Small Works Show" - Opening reception 5-8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31, runs through March 15, Cottonwood Center for the Arts, 427 E. Colorado Ave., free; 520-1899, cottonwoodcenter forthearts.com