BECOMING OTHELLO: A Black Girl’s Journey

Classical actress and producer Debra Ann Byrd undertook a remarkable journey to take on the role of Othello  — which she first performed in her native Harlem. The actress recently recorded her experiences on becoming ‘The Moor of Venice’ as writer-in-residence at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.
 
PERFORMANCE 1
9 October 2019, 5:00pm
Shakespeare Birthplace Trust
The Shakespeare Centre
Stratford-upon-Avon
Warwickshire, UK
 
PERFORMANCE 2
16 October 2019, 6:00pm
Helen Martin Studio
Warwick Arts Centre
University of Warwick
Coventry, UK

 


Inspired in 2000, by actor Charles Dutton when he performed at the Playing Shakespeare workshop with John Barton, Debra Ann dreamed that she too would one day play the role of Othello.  --- Roll on 15 years and she finally got her wish.  

Now the Birthplace Trust and the University of Warwick together with Misfit, Inc., the Folger Institute, Southwest Shakespeare Company, Columbia University and the Harlem Shakespeare Festival are working together to sponsor Debra Ann’s planned three-year writing project.  The international project comprises a documentary feature film, a solo show and a small volume memoir which includes research from the Birthplace Trust, the Folger Shakespeare Library and Columbia University Archives.


BECOMING OTHELLO: A Black Girl’s Journey is a 90 minute, 5-Act, living memoir about a young woman’s trials and triumphs with race and the classics, her memorable experiences growing up in East Harlem and her gender flipped journey on the road to becoming Shakespeare's noble, flawed general.  The solo show is complete with moving songs and lyrical language from Black women playwrights, William Shakespeare, Langston Hughes, Martin Luther King, Jr., Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman and the King James Bible.

 
PERFORMANCE 1
9 October 2019
Shakespeare Birthplace Trust
The Shakespeare Centre
Stratford-upon-Avon
Warwickshire, UK
5:00pm
Tel: 01789 201806 
 
PERFORMANCE 2
16 October 2019
Helen Martin Studio
Warwick Arts Centre
University of Warwick
Coventry, UK
6:00pm
Tel: 024 7652 4524

Press

  • Black By Popular Demand! "The Day Harlem Saved Dr. King!'

    Shades of Truth Theatre and Voza Rivers/ New Heritage Theatre

    in association with The Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Community Center present

    The Day Harlem Saved Dr. King written and directed by Michael Green

  • Empowering a New Generation

    Republished from Captrust, Tuesday, January 29, 2019

    by Sylvana Smith

    From Black Panther and convict to writer, poet, producer, college professor, Academy Award nominee, and youth advocate, Jamal Joseph’s life has taken a circuitous path to the present. His is a story of perennial social activism, advancing lessons from his Black Panther days to empower a new generation.

    Excuse Me, Young Brother, I Just Did

  • NYS Senate and Assemby Honors New Heritage Theatre Group 55th Anniversary
    In celebration of Black Theatre and New Heritage's 55th Anniversary the New York State Assembly recently honored and recognized Voza Rivers and Jamal Joseph on the floor of the Assembly. Oscar nominated IMPACT members performed . 
      
     
    Robert Rodriguez, 68th Assembly District, Inez E. District 70th Assembly District, Al Taylor 71st Assembly District, issued the following signed statement:
    albany senate assemby honors New Heritage Theatre Group"We have an organization worthy of the esteem of both the community  and the Great State of New York." 
     Later that day Assembly Member Inez Dickens stated:
     

    "Special thanks to Voza Rivers and Jamal Joseph on 55 years of excellence and prosperity in the Harlem community through arts & culture for Harlem's youth! I especially want to thank IMPACT children for an amazing performance here in Albany.We wish them all the best!"

     

Staged Readings, Performing Arts Shows, Documentaries & Shorts
New Heritage Theatre Group Logo

Sponsors

Harlem Deserves Credit - Sky
nws-banner