Original Practice Shakespeare Festival offers a free presentation of “The Tragedie of Othello” at 7 p.m. July 29 at Luuwit View Park, Northeast 127th and Northeast Fremont Street, Portland. The company uses the original practice techniques of Elizabethan England: limited rehearsal, scrolls in hand, audience interaction, and an onstage prompter. Gender-fluid casting (just like in Ye Olde Shakespearean Days) is the norm.
To sum up the plot: Othello promotes Cassio, bypassing Iago. Othello marries Desdemona without parental permission. Iago, seeking revenge, plots against Othello. Cassio gets drunk and brawls, resulting in his dismissal. Desdemona pleads with Othello on Cassio’s behalf. Iago convinces Othello Desdemona is having an affair. Othello smothers Desdemona. Aemelia dies. Othello dies. Iago doesn’t.
The Original Practice Shakespeare Festival performs all 25 plays in its repertory over the summer at 11 different Portland parks, with no admission fee. The company of skilled, flexible actors will perform with occasional interruptions of songs, dances and sketches. Shows usually begin at 7 p.m. and the audience is welcome to arrive during the hour before to watch dance and fight rehearsals. Children and leashed dogs are welcome. Picnic meals are encouraged. To see the complete summer schedule, visit www.opsfest.org.