“Theater should be ephemeral,” says Mark Kennedy, director of the 2012 Philly Fringe showOthello, Desdemona, and Iago Walk into a Bar. “Shows happen and they’re gone but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t make projects and learn from them. It has to be over for it to mean something.”
The ephemeral nature of performance underlies the ad hoc theater group—called [ad hoc theatre project]—that Mark has assembled to produce his contribution to this year’s Fringe. And what he hopes to learn is something about reconnecting the soul and body, by placing Othello in a go-go bar.
“[Actress] Meredith [Sonnen] named it. I asked, what would the punch line be? And that’s what we’re trying to figure out. The play is happening during happy hour—people can order food, it’s a go-go bar, and that’s included in the language of the play. It brings up the consideration of sex objects, black men in that space, the soul. There are a lot of ways that the space itself resonates,” Mark says.
Othello, Mark argues, “is about what happens when you hate yourself, and you can’t figure out how to love yourself. This interpretation says how he’s like that the whole time. I wanted to explore it in relation to the idea of the body and soul as separate.”