Othello is the story of a tragic murder and suicide involving a dark-skinned general and his aristocratic, white-skinned bride. Who should direct it? Who’s “allowed” to? What if a white director and the actor he’s cast as Othello simply do not see eye-to-eye on the play’s subtext, the Moor’s motivations, and what the audience is supposed to take away from the production?
That conflict is at the heart of a one-man show currently being performed around the country called American Moor. In it, a black actor – the play’s author, Keith Hamilton Cobb – stands on stage and addresses an invisible, white director who simply does not “get” Othello. Their disagreement allows for a searing exploration of the gulf between black and white Americans that some like to believe simply does not exist.
Keith Hamilton Cobb is interviewed by Barbara Bogaev.