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Im sure the song sections especially would have been better seen performed. NANTERRE, France — A decade ago Toni Morrison, the Nobel Prize-winning novelist, and Peter Sellars, the experimental theater and opera director, got into a … first, i love toni morrison and i think reading her books has changed me for the better as a person; her way with words is fierce and cutting and so beautiful and sharp it borders on glorious, merging emotional horror with exceptionally vivid grotesque imagery to create truly unforgettable pieces. I was wary, as I have a checkered history with Toni Morrison’s novels, but this short dramatic piece is revelatory. i know this work has value and i want to hear what my Black peers have to say about it, because i know. Toni Morrison (born Chloe Ardelia Wofford) was an American author, editor, and professor who won the 1993 Nobel Prize in Literature for being an author "who in novels characterized by visionary force and poetic import, gives life to an essential aspect of American reality. So, Sellars staged Othello and Morrison said she would find a way “to talk back to Shakespeare”.. Challenges: May 2020 - 21/31 books. It was first produced in Vienna in May 2011. It is not an exaggeration to compare this to William Blake's re-reading of Paradise Lost. I am not a huge fan of the character Desdemona or Othello, but I really like Emilia and Sa'ran. An interesting adaptation but it definitely not a closet drama, I think it would work much better in performance! Challenges: May 2020 - 21/31 books. Viewed some portions of the play and music on YouTube. What I really wish is that she had used a longer form-narrative poem or novel. What Morrison begins to do in fleshing out Desdemona's preparation for loving Othello and Othello's back story is brilliant; I wish she had done more. In Toni Morrison’s creation, Desdemona is no longer a teenager but a mature woman with perspective and the opportunity to gradually recognize and let go of her own illusions. Morrison gives voice and depth to the … The original production toured theater festivals around the world in 2012. Only Toni Morrison could write such a response to Othello, one which resolves the tragedy Shakespeare couldn't. Desdemona is at Melbourne Festival from October 16-19, details here. Morrison's text, a series of monologues and dialogues spoken by an actress who plays Desdemona and channels various other characters, alternates with songs written and performed by Traoré, a renowned Malian singer and composer. Morrison’s Desdemona picks up where Shakespeare’s Othello leaves off, taking place in Desdemona’s afterlife. Toni Morrison’s writing is incredible, but not being able to hear the music that weaves into the play while reading was difficult. After, I really started thinking about it, though, and finding different themes to use for my Shakespeare project I began to like it. We’d love your help. The story of Desdemona from Shakespeare's Othello is re-imagined by Nobel Prize laureate Toni Morrison, Malian singer and songwriter Rokia Traoré, and acclaimed stage director Peter Sellars. Toni Morrison was born in Lorain, Ohio, to Ramah (née Willis) and George Wofford.She was the second of four children from a working-class, black family. I enjoyed performing it and got so much more from it in action than in reading. However, I think it lost a lot of its impact because - as a play - it was designed to be performed, rather than read and I read it. Be the first to ask a question about Desdemona. Unfortunately, the dramatic action suffers a lot from the heavy amount of exposition throughout the text. The official playscript of Desdemona was published in 2012 by Oberon Books, with a foreword written by the director Peter Sellars. i know this work has value and i want to hear what my Black peers have to say about it, because i know as a white girl i can’t see the full nuance (but i want to!). Morrison's response to Sellars’ 2009 production of Othello is an intimate dialogue of words and music between Desdemona and her African nurse Barbary. A beautiful collaboration with Toni Morrison (writer), Rokia Traore (Mali musician/composer) and Peter Sellars (director). Throughout Desdemona, Morrison constructs a magical realist model for self-liberation by removing the previously established natural social order. Let us know what’s wrong with this preview of, Published With "Desdemona," a play that opened earlier this week, the Nobel laureate Toni Morisson probes the hidden suffering and occult oppression woven into Shakespeare's tale Othello. This reimagining of Desdemona (from Othello) was interesting with race, class and gender all featuring prominently. I'm sure we miss a lot by just reading it without hearing what appears to be significant musical accompaniment, but fans of Morrison won't want to miss out. The title character of the play is Desdemona, the wife of the title character in Shakespeare's Othello. Desdemona is a play by Toni Morrison. Desdemona is a play by Toni Morrison. 1, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Desdemona_(play)&oldid=966004635, Articles with dead external links from November 2019, Articles with permanently dead external links, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, May 15, 17-21, 2011 - Theater Akzent - Vienna, Austria, May 26–29, 2011 - Theatre Royal Flamand (KVS) - Brussels, Belgium, October 13–21, 2011 - Nanterre-Amandiers theatre, Nanterre, France, October 26–29, 2011 - Zellerbach Playhouse, Berkeley, United States, November 2–3, 2011 - Rose Theater - New York, United States, November 10–12, 2011 - Haus der Berliner Festspiele - Berlin, Germany, July 2012 - Barbican Centre - London, England, June 11-13 2013 - Holland Festival, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, November 2013 - Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts: School of Drama - Kingston, Jamaica, October 16–19, 2015 - Southbank Theatre, Melbourne, Australia, April 16, 2019 - Sanders Theater, Cambridge, MA, This page was last edited on 4 July 2020, at 18:22. She is now given an astonishing and provocative further voice by Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison, who reveals secrets in Othello that will change forever our reading of the play. The story of Desdemona from Shakespeare's Othello is re-imagined by Nobel Prize laureate Toni Morrison, Malian singer and songwriter Rokia Traoré, and acclaimed stage director Peter Sellars. In Desdemona, Toni Morrison’s response to Shakespeare’s Othello, which opens today at the Melbourne Festival, we are invited to do something – something it seems we are being invited to do as audiences of tragedy ever more: to listen. At first glance, Morrison's response to Sellars and Shakespeare is a provocative though unnececessary sequel. About the Author Toni Morrison was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993. Othello and Iago's "secret," Desdemona's Barbary, these additions to Othello both increase and decrease the agency of the women. Nobel Prize-winning novelist, Toni Morrison, gives voice to one of Shakespeare's most mysterious characters in this inventive and lyrical retelling of Desdemona's life and murder by her husband Othello. What Morrison begins to do in fleshing out Desdemona's preparation for loving Othello and Othello's back story is brilliant; I wish she had done more. Shakespeare's Othello, reinvented in a play by nobel-prize winner Toni Morrison. It brings further depth to Othello by giving voice to the characters and addressing potential nuanced undertones to the original story. Morrison's response to Sellars’ 2009 production of Othello is an intimate dialogue of words and music between Desdemona and her African nurse Barbary. I’m sure the song sections especially would have been better seen performed. Othello and Iago's "secret," Desdemona's Barbary, these additions to Othello both increase and decrease the agency of the women. I would consider this more of a character study. The story of Desdemona from Shakespeare's Othello is re-imagined by Nobel Prize laureate Toni Morrison, Malian singer and songwriter Rokia Traoré, and acclaimed stage director Peter Sellars. In Toni Morrison's 2012 play, however, Desdemona's voice and story dominate the stage. If you love the fantasy genre, this is the season for you! Written by Toni Morrison and directed by Peter Sellars, this multimedia project was inspired by the fourth act of Othello, in which Desdemona, facing … It's a brilliant but underdeveloped response to Shakespeare's most troubling play. Reading Toni Morrison 2020 - Bonus read. As one who still calls Othello her favorite of Shakespeare’s plays, I was embarrassed that I didn’t know this work existed. I wanted more in the kind of way that I didn't want it to end. She has also received the National Critics … Far more experimental than my normal read but I really enjoyed this one. Toni Morrisons writing is incredible, but not being able to hear the music that weaves into the play while reading was difficult. Desdemona is a powerful contemporary play by Toni Morrison (Script), Rokia Traoré (Music), and Peter Sellars (Direction). Morrison's response to Sellars’ 2009 production of Othello is an intimate dialogue of words and music between Desdemona and her African nurse Barbary. Welcome back. I thoroughly enjoyed it on literary, dramatic, psychological, and philosophical levels. Desdemona by Toni Morrison - Alibris Buy Desdemona by Toni Morrison online at Alibris. The words of Emilia and Sa’Ran especially shined a new light on Desdemona and her place in Venetian society, Shakespeare’s play, and this text. I thoroughly enjoyed it on literary, dramatic, psychological, and philosophical levels. by Oberon Books. Morrison gives voice and depth to the … The re-imagined female characters of Shakespeare's play Othello whereby Morrison gives voice, agency, and story to Desdemona as well as her mother, Othello's mother, Barbary (Desdemona's African nurse), Bianca (Cassio's lover) and Emilia (Iago's wife/Desdemona's maid servant). ), i usually write very punchy one-sentence reviews intended to be humorous, but i cant do that here. Lacks the drive of a well crafted plot. She is the author of many novels, including The Bluest Eye, Beloved (made into a major film), Paradise and, most recently, Home. Wonderfully written. (Having not experienced the live music I, I wish it were longer, and I wish I could have seen it live in 2011 rather than read it now. The story of Desdemona from William Shakespeare's "Othello" is reimagined by Nobel Prize laureate Toni Morrison, Malian singer and songwriter Rokia Traore, and acclaimed stage director Peter Sellars. Par Charles Holdefer Publication en ligne le 24 juin 2011 She is 'playing in the light,' as it turns out. The re-imagined female characters of Shakespeare's play Othello whereby Morrison gives voice, agency, and story to Desdemona as well as her mother, Othello's mother, Barbary (Desdemona's African nurse), Bianca (Cassio's lover) and Emilia (Iago's wife/Desdemona's maid servant). The titular role belongs to Desdemona, the famed wife in Othello. Yes...Time we heard the women’s perspective... Hard to imagine really loving this without hearing the songs, but overall it's an interesting, if slightly abstract, take on Othello. Last year in London, I was bowled over by Euripides’ Medea, adapted for the National Theatre by Ben Powers. ), As one who still calls Othello her favorite of Shakespeares plays, I was embarrassed that I didnt know this work existed. I have to read it for my Shakespeare class but I enjoyed the writing and it made me want to read more from Toni Morrison. I appreciate the insights this text offers into the character Desdemona but I'm not quite sure I would call it a play. Morrison's response to Sellars' 2009 production of Othello is an intimate dialogue of words and music between Desdemona and her African nurse Barbary. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. first, i love toni morrison and i think reading her books has changed me for the better as a person; her way with words is fierce and cutting and so beautiful and sharp it borders on glorious, merging emotional horror with exceptionally vivid grotesque imagery to create truly unforgettable pieces. However, I think it lost a lot of its impact because - as a play - it was designed to be performed, rather than read and I read it. My best friend has been recommending me her books since we became friends. When I first read this, I was not a huge fan of this play. Not my fave, but it has a great quote: “We will be judged by how well we love.”. It was first produced in Vienna in May 2011. I started a d finished this yesterday. Life and career Early years. But that's contemporary drama, I suppose? I think this is a play that must be seen to be truly treasured and understood. It's a high 4 for me. In William Shakespeare's Othello, Desdemona is beautiful and young, but also enigmatic: one cannot know exactly why she rejects her numerous Venetian suitors to marry the Moor. Morrison uses a rather shallow Desdemona to move forward with brevity a re-examination of the motivation and character of the Moor, Othello. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. The words of Emilia and SaRan especially shined a new light on Desdemona and her place in Venetian society, Shakespeares play, and this text. All three plays have highly divergent interpretations of the character of Desdemona. I was wary, as I have a checkered history with Toni Morrisons novels, but this short dramatic piece is revelatory. Not my fave, but it has a great quote: We will be judged by how well we love. Context / Reception: The story goes that Toni Morrison and Peter Sellars (who is an experimental theater director) got into an argument about Othello – Sellars said it had outlived its usefulness and Morrison said he was wrong. i do know, though, that from a first read, i didn’t... like it? tags: judgement, love. (And yes, I'm channelling Harold Bloom here. Writer Toni Morrison, director Peter Sellars, and singer-songwriter Rokia Traoré breathe new life into Shakespeare’s Desdemona. [2] The 2011 play arose from a collaboration between Morrison, director Peter Sellars, and musician Rokia Traoré, and revolves around Desdemona's relationship with the African nurse who raised her.[3][4][5][6][7]. Morrison's response to Sellars’ 2009 production of Othello is an intimate dialogue of words and music between Desdemona and her African nurse Barbary. She had a song of “Willow,” An old thing ’twas, but it expressed her fortune And she died singing it. Desdemona, in Morrison’s update, reaches out to Barbary to explain that it was through their early contact that she was able to transcend the racial prejudices of her people and marry Othello. “My mother had a maid called Barbary, She was in love, and he she loved proved mad And did forsake her. Definitely made me look at Shakespeare's Othello in a different light. Desdemona directed by Peter Sellars, Text by Toni Morrison, Music by Rokia Traoré 29 May 2011, Koninklijke Vlaamse Schouwburg – Royal Flemish Theatre, Brussels. October 23rd 2012 Desdemona and Othello come to terms in the place of undeath and Desdemona understands her participation in her murder. It's a brilliant but underdeveloped response to Shakespeare's most troubling play. A beautiful collaboration. Short but good commentary and savage burns. The work was a team effort consisting of Toni Morrison, Rokia Traoré, and Peter Sellars. If you've read Othello and you're ready for Toni Morrison to take you to the brink of sanity, then this is the play for you. Side Bar of Aqua. It also happens to be the afterlife of Othello himself, and a few other people. I wish it were longer, and I wish I could have seen it live in 2011 rather than read it now. The 2011 play arose from a collaboration between Morrison, director Peter Sellars, and musician Rokia Traoré, and revolves around Desdemona's relationship with the African nurse who raised her. Stage manager notes would help clarify staging. The story of Desdemona from Shakespeare's Othello is reimagined by Nobel Prize laureate Toni Morrison, Malian singer and songwriter Rokia Traore, and acclaimed stage director Peter Sellars. Between the mumbled passages of defiance and screamed lines from Shakespeare's original, I have absolutely no idea how this is considered a play when there's effectively no character or plot. […] Morrison's play marks the third major play focusing on Shakespeare's Desdemona composed by a modern female playwright, following Desdemona: A Play about a Handkerchief (1993) by Paula Vogel, and Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) (1988) by Ann-Marie MacDonald. Desdemona is the joint work of three prominent artists from three different backgrounds: the American writer and winner of the Nobel Prize for literature Toni Morrison, the Malinese singer-songwriter Rokia Traoré and the American director Peter Sellars. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. 3 likes. Like “My melancholy thoughts are back. Dying twice is the curse of the cowardly according to Caesar. Some of the biggest books out this fall promise to be epics full of magic, adventure,... 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