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The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

Gears, tears, pipes and prose: the new ‘Othello’


The newest production from the DVC Drama department brings the eloquence and passion of Shakespearean theater to the Performing Arts Center, with their take on “Othello.”

What sets this production of Othello apart from other interpretations is the choice of aesthetics.

It uses a “steampunk” setting as a backdrop for the Shakespearean tragedy.  While same may consider this stylistic choice out of place, one strength of “Othello” is its ability to remain relevant, regardless of the setting.

In this “steampunk” setting, each character wears garbs that the director, Ed Trujillo, describes as “The Matrix meets steampunk.”  The costumes make for flashy dresswear and practical military wear.

Shakespeare’s classic tells the tale of a Moorish general as he struggles with self- doubt and betrayed trust that eventually lead to his downfall.

As with any Shakespearean tragedy the burden of success falls to the actors rather than a catchy soundtrack or a high-tech light show.

Thankfully, the acting in “Othello” is superb.  With a play that focuses on so many different themes – betrayal, jealousy, love, and racism – it could be easy for an actor to lose focus and deliver a performance that seems less than genuine.

That is not the case with this production.  Every line, innuendo and soliloquy is delivered in perfect diction.

Two especially notable performances on opening night were by Kerel Rennacker and Ellery Urquhart, respectively Iago and Othello.

As Iago, Rennacker must quickly switch from the clever schemer to the loyal soldier sometimes multiples times in a scene.  Although this might trip up some actors, Rennacker does not miss a beat.

Urquhart’s performance was also outstanding.  When s presented with the idea that his wife may be having an affair with his lieutenant, Othello’s rage and fear is almost palpable.

All in all, “Othello” is an entertaining piece of performing arts that presents the majesty of a Shakespearean tragedy while maintaining a sense of relevance to a modern audience.

“Othello” runs through April 3 in the Performing Arts Center.  Tickets are available in the DVC box office.  Prices are $15 for general admission, $14 for seniors, $12 for students and $10 for students with a current ASDVC activities sticker.


Contact Troy Patton at [email protected]

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About the Contributor
Troy Patton
Troy Patton, Arts & Features Editor
Arts and features editor, spring 2013.

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Gears, tears, pipes and prose: the new ‘Othello’