Restaging Othello, 1974: Interview with D. Jeremy Smith

William Shakespeare’s monumental dramas have often been reimagined and adapted in modern settings. Richard Loncraine’s 1995 Richard III (set in an alternate history interwar/fascist England) and Ralph Fiennes’ 2011 Coriolanus (set in a contemporary European battlefield) are a few that come to mind. But what might the Bard have to say about Canadian society, and particularly its heritage of peacekeeping?

 

There may be an answer to that question. Throughout this summer, Driftwood Theatre has been hitting the road in their annual Bard’s Bus Tour, bringing a highly unusual production of Othello to numerous communities in Ontario, from Mississauga to Kingston. This production imagines the tragic feud between Othello and Iago as taking place during the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus, and its timeless characters depicted as senior Canadian military officers who take part in the United Nations intervention.

 

Portraying a little-known event in Canadian and NATO history, this production is a grand tragedy and a history lesson rolled up into one. Indeed, Driftwood Theatre went beyond the stage to stress the educational element: every showing of Othello is accompanied by the Cyprus Project. A special interactive installation (co-produced with Fixt Point) of four five-minute featurettes, the Cyprus Project compiles interviews and historical reporting illustrate the impact of the Turkish invasion on ordinary Cypriot civilians and Canadian peacekeepers.

 

I spoke to Driftwood Theatre’s artistic director D. Jeremy Smith to discuss the historical research and creative decisions behind reimagining Othello in a Canadian peacekeeping context, as well as the story behind the Cyprus Project.

 

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity and length.

 


 

Can you give us a background on yourself, Driftwood Theatre, and the annual Bard’s Bus Tour production?

 

I have been a professional theatre artist for just over 23 years, and the fascinating thing is that most of that professional life has been tied to, or included, Driftwood Theatre in some way.

 

Driftwood Theatre is a company that I started while I was still in school at Queen’s University, studying theatre, and when I graduated, I made the decision that it would become my de facto postgraduate training ground, and it sort of careened into a career. I have been the senior administrative and artistic individual for the whole duration, and the company has grown from its first season in 1995; I was still in school so it was semi-professional. We did 8 performances in 4 locations in the Durham region, and it has grown to become a thriving provincial professional theatre touring company that visits 27 different communities over five and a half weeks every summer, not including the work that we do in the off-season. But Driftwood’s main focus has always been and will continue to be, the creation and sharing of accessible theatre to communities across the province. So that’s just a quick run-up on the company itself.

 

The Bard’s Bus Tour, in fact, has been a part of the company since the first year. We didn’t officially call it the Bard’s Bus Tour until about 2009 because we actually got a bus. But the idea of touring, bringing theatre to communities that don’t have access to it, and doing so in an accessible fashion, has been sort of a main point for the company for the last 23 years. Actually, as we approach our 25th season, the big idea that we’re really reaching for now is this concept of making theatre free, or making Shakespeare free, across the province in the summer time. So our goal by 2019, which is our 25th season, is for all performances to be absolutely free.

 

What inspired Driftwood Theatre to set this year’s adaptation of Othello in the context of Canada’s involvement in the UN peacekeeping mission on Cyprus?

 

As an artist, increasingly my interest when I’m developing work and creating work (and so therefore the interest of my company to a certain degree) is in reflecting somehow the Canadian experience, reflecting my experience as a Canadian artist. I’m not interested in creating museum pieces that just recreate what we might imagine Shakespeare’s work to be like in the 16th and 17th century. My interest is in mining these plays for what relevance and value and message they might have to a contemporary audience from our own perspective. It’s not to say that I look at finding a Canadian context for every show, but it’s certainly on my mind.

 

When we started talking about Othello originally last year, we were talking about the 1970s first, just as an interesting era for race-relations in Canada, coming out of the 60s and just having a bit of a distance to our contemporary journey with multiculturalism and with racism, the struggles that we have with racism, and just some of the language that’s used in the play. It was only after we started to explore the decade that we discovered that in 1974 this event in Cyprus was occurring. And this is important because Shakespeare’s play Othello actually takes place in Cyprus, and although the play itself is fictional, Shakespeare still set the play within a historical context. So it’s set on the island of Cyprus during the Ottoman invasion of the late 16th century, and that particular version that they talk about in the play is stopped, it’s repelled at the beginning of the play. But Shakespeare’s audience would’ve known that by the time that the play was written and produced, that the Ottomans had actually taken over the island from the Venetians. That was important to me, because I immediately felt that it was a very interesting, very close parallel to the events of 1974, in which you had a Turkish force landing on the island, establishing a beachhead, a ceasefire being declared in the middle of that event, but then following some time, we know that the Turkish forces further pushed through the island and annexed the whole north of that island.

 

So, I just felt that, in many ways, that very specific event, and that very specific timeline, was a really interesting echo of what Shakespeare actually written and created and talked about. This framework for this play being this invasion that’s stopped, and that we know that it did continue and was successful in the end, was just interesting, both for me the parallels of the cyclical nature of the life of that particular island, but also, because in this particular case, as you know, that incident in 1974 did involve Canadian forces as part of the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus. And that gave us immediately this very, very close and very, very interesting and very relevant and prescient connection to life in Canada.

 

It just became an immediate access point for us, and that’s where the journey really started. We just started to find all these parallels and all of these really interesting bits of serendipity and it became the jumping off point to talking a whole bunch of different things. And as you know, the play itself doesn’t deal with the invasion of Cyprus but it serves as the backdrop framework from which we watch the events of the play, and I think, inevitably in the end, by choosing to make that update, we immediately make Shakespeare’s play…not relevant, but we do give it context. It gives it a certain amount of verisimilitude; Shakespeare himself knew that by grounding a fictional play in a historical framework, you lend that fictional piece weight, you lend it credence, and I think it’s true in this particular case.  And we were able to do it in a way that matched very closely the intention of Shakespeare’s original play.

 

So once you’ve landed on the setting of 1974 Cyprus, what kind of historical research did you guys do to prepare for the play? Did you collaborate with the armed forces, peacekeeping veterans, or anything like that?

 

The very first thing that I did, I very specifically started to look for Canadian perspectives on that war, and so the first book that I found was Al Gaudet’s journal (Cyprus 1974, “This Ain’t No Picnic, It’s War”), which was published in 2010. Al Gaudet was in battle, a member of the Canadian Forces during that particular war, and this was literally the journal that he kept throughout that time period, and they published it and it became a really important and very interesting first resource for me. And through that, I found out about Francis Henn’s book, A Business of Some Heat, and I found out about Clay Beattie’s book, The Bulletproof Flag, and I just started gradually pouring over all of them. And that for me became my initial system of grounding for that particular event, for the war itself.

 

Then, as you may be aware, we began this process in tandem with doing Othello, we began this process of developing a project called the Cyprus Project, which was intended to provide our audience with additional context about the war and its impact upon civilians and veterans by asking people who lived and served during that event to recount their stories of it. And so through that process we also collected and started to hear the actual firsthand accounts of people, both veterans, Turkish and Greek Cypriots, Armenian people from the island, historians about the event that transpired in and around that time period. So that also became a resource that we would use in rehearsal.

 

And then finally we also worked with a military advisor named Jon O’Connor who is himself a veteran of Cyprus, although his tour of duty in Cyprus was in 1994. He’s a photographer, and his interest in Cyprus took him on a path of collecting interviews and photographs from the 1974 war, so Jon had this incredible collection of material that he also generously shared with us to provide further context for our understanding of that event. So it was a really interesting and (from my perspective, at least, for a production of this size and scale) very thorough, delving into the events leading up to and following the 1974 incident.

 

The really cool thing is that Al Gaudet is still alive. He lives in France with his wife, and he’s in the Cyprus Project. He actually found out we’re doing this project and got in touch with our friends at Fixt Point, who had actually created the Cyprus Project for us. And so he was interviewed as part of the process, and never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that we would get to talk to him, so that was really fascinating and really fortunate.

 

Once you collected your research, how did your production seek to balance historical accuracy and authenticity with creative/artistic license?

 

Obviously we know that in Shakespeare’s play, Othello’s the general, the leader of the forces sent to Cyprus to repel the attack. In historical context, that individual, at least as it relates to the Canadian forces, would’ve been Clay Beattie, who wasn’t a 30-year-old black man. He was a mid-40s white dude at the time. So automatically we know that our framework (if you will) for the play, the rulebook we have to follow, is the script. Aside from making some changes to references to locations for certain small events in the script, we mostly maintained that structure. So that’s really where that shift or that line between historical representation and dramatization starts. So the context for the play is historical. The design of the play, the relationships (at least as I’ve structured militarily) are historically accurate to the best of our ability, but the story itself and the people and the events that take place within the story are all fictional.

 

It was important to me that we somehow figured out a way to also honour the civilian experience within that war. There’s only one character in the play that was actually native to Cyprus, and that is the character of Bianca, who is a prostitute working on the island. Our approach to that person was to take some of the stories from the Greek and Turkish women who were living on the island at the time whose husbands and sons were stolen from them—taken from them—and use that as jumping off point to her particular story. So that’s the closest through line of the play that actually has a historical bent, but obviously the rest of it—this general having this growing doubts and jealousies over his wife, and his ensign acting as the catalyst for a whole bunch of really awful things—none of that is historically accurate.

 

One of the most fascinating things about having Jon on board was that he really dug into his role as an advisor and worked very closely with our costume designers to make sure that all of the pieces we found and the details that we added to the wardrobe were as accurate as possible, down to the medals that all of the soldiers were wearing, to their slip-ons on their shoulders, to the way they wore their uniforms. As much as possible, Jon was pretty relentless in wanting to make sure that we represented that as accurately as possible.

 

The use of sandbags and suitcases came from our designer, Nancy Anne Perrin, who, after pouring over the photos we had from Cyprus at the time, wanted to balance the iconic imagery of that war (sandbags) with the impression of civilian displacement (suitcases) which so clearly had a considerable impact on many people.

 

Did you have a particular audience in mind? What were some considerations that you had to keep in mind to keep the history of the war in Cyprus and peacekeeping accessible to the audience?

 

Even when Shakespeare wrote his play, I think that there were portions of his audience that would’ve been really familiar with the Ottoman invasion of Cyprus, and there would be some people who would have no idea. It was very important that we have the audience to at least understand the framework, that there was a war taking place, that an invasion was taking place, that lives were being displaced, and affected by that event. Mostly we focused on that through our sound design, and also making slight adjustments to the text so that the audience could be made aware that there was an event taking place that involved Turkish attack. Luckily most of that already existed in Shakespeare’s play as it was written. That was the important context for them to get.

 

In addition to that, because I felt it was important to again provide an experience where people could not only really discover this play, but also learn more and really be reminded of the impact of war upon individual lives, upon real human lives, and the closeness with which events affected Canada and Canadians as recently as early 1974. The whole Cyprus placement is still one of the longest peacekeeping missions in Canada’s history. For the longest time it was the first real war environment that Canadian soldiers would encounter post-Second World War, and it still remains a significant event (from my perspective, at least) in Canadian military history.

 

I didn’t know anything about it before we started work on the play; I wasn’t born until 1973, so I don’t have the age to remember it, but I never learned about it in history class. I never discovered that event. I just felt that it was important to help our audiences understand not just the impact of events such as the Cyprus war, but the real role of it that we as Canadians play as peacekeepers. I know that the general understanding of peacekeeping is perhaps skewed for most civilians in Canada, and I know that we have a different viewpoint in the Canadian military about how we conduct peacekeeping missions now, but there is still a really great legacy of it in Canada and I wanted to help our audiences understand. So that’s where the whole Cyprus Project came into play, wanting to really help people to understand not just the context of the war for the purpose of Othello, but the context of the war just from a historical perspective.

 

What’s the story of the Cyprus Project? When did you guys decide to create this historical installation, and what were some of your inspirations for integrating this historical project with an artistic production?

 

So I have long known about the work of Fixt Point Arts and Media. This is a company that specializes in what they refer to as creating a living memory. They do that by collecting stories from people about the communities that they live in, and then they collect these stories into audio-visual installations that tell the story of the community. They’ve been doing that across Canada for the last 4 years leading up to the 150th, and they’ve become experts at this. So I’ve known about their work, and I was really fascinated and curious about it. And when the whole Cyprus interest came to us as the starting off point for this production, we were considering how we might honour that.

 

We made an application to Celebrating Ontario at the Ministry of Tourism to get some funding to do this additional project. At the time I spoke to the people at Fixt Point and let them know what we were thinking about, we developed a rough framework for the idea, and that would’ve been in October of last year. I made the application and waited for four months, and luckily the application was approved and we moved ahead. So really, the inspiration comes from Fixt Point because they’re the ones who got me into this idea of telling people’s stories, and it evolved from there.

 

Originally the focus of the piece was going to be almost explicitly on Canadian peacekeeping, but through conversations with Charles [Ketchabaw] and the team at Fixt Point, it just became obvious that we might have the opportunity to tell a more balanced and full story, which included the experiences of Turkish and Greek civilians who lived during that event, so we were really fortunate to speak to some of those people who are now living in Canada. And that’s basically the history of it.

 

It came about pretty quick. We were confirmed for the grant in late February, and after we negotiated what the project would be and started our initial planning, Fixt Point started interviewing in early April, and it came together from then. From April to June, they interviewed a whole bunch of people, collected hours and hours of footage, and then distilled that into four five-minute pieces. We had a number of partners across the province who helped us to (and they also did some outreach themselves) get in touch with some of the people locally who were living in these regions. I know that we interviewed some people in St Catherines, in Kitchener, in Kingston, in Toronto, and then eventually in Ottawa, and then overseas and in the [United] States. So yeah, it was a pretty significant undertaking for them to take on. They had the staff in place already for a bunch of other projects this year, and they made it work. They did a fantastic job.

 

I got to take a look at the Cyprus Project before the play, and I learned things from it. It was pretty well done. What kinds of insights did you take from these interviews for your production, especially if the Cyprus Project was finished late? Were you able to integrate any last-minute insights from that?

 

Most definitely! The really cool thing is that we didn’t start rehearsals for Othello until mid-June, so we did. By that time, the team at Fixt Point already had a considerable amount of footage available for us to listen to. Most of it was just me being able to go through that footage and listen to it and really start to take it in.

 

Where I found interesting parallels I would share them with the company. In particular, it was in little details that the Cyprus Project really helped to shape some of the things that we were doing. For example, two separate individuals who were interviewed as part of the Cyprus Project made direct mention, without being prompted, of Turkish prostitutes who would’ve been working on the island during the time of the war. We had originally planned for Bianca, the character within the play, to be a Greek prostitute, and we shifted that at the last minute, because clearly there was an identification on the part of these people who were interviewed with the Turkish women being forced into that type of necessity. That was one of the big significant shifts.

 

There were also added details of the impact of the war. It’s hard sometimes for an actor or anyone to imagine what the impact on an event might be, and what became really clear through this storytelling—and not all of it is captured in the final Cyprus Project but certainly in the longer pieces, you really get a sense of it—the impact not just on civilians, and especially the women. I think because Bianca was the only character within the play who acted as a civilian Cypriot, the experiences of women on the island at the time became really interesting, especially for Helen [King], who plays Bianca; she spent some time listening to that footage and really understanding the plight of those women at the time.

 

And for me, a lot of the rest of it was hearing about the impact of war on soldiers, and on their mental health and mental state, and that became important for me for understanding the stress and duress that already is placed on Othello even before someone tries to convince him that his wife is cheating on him. So it’s just that kind of additional detail that really became interesting and helpful.

 

So you mentioned that you wanted to start with an exploration on race relations and the beginning of Canadian multiculturalism. Do you feel that’s still being brought out in the play with this setting refocus? Are there any other kinds of themes that you are getting at?

 

Most definitely. I think when anyone thinks of Othello, they think of issues of race, and we opted to really start to tackle some of those questions, and I do think they’re relevant, especially in the context of understanding the experience of people of colour as recently as the 1970s. It only really comes out in the context of Desdemona’s parent, Brabantio, in which we discovered that she treats Othello like a token by desiring to collect his stories and hear about his journey, while at the same time completely disapproving of him having a relationship with her daughter. It became indicative of the experience of many people of colour, even now but especially in the 70s when it was far more public, in the way that Brabantio makes her racism such a public statement is quite shocking and should be shocking.

 

 It is important to note also that we have quite a few discussions in the rehearsal hall both between Jordan [Hall] and Shelly [Antony] and Ayesha [Mansur Gonsalves], our three actors of colour as well as our dramaturg Myekah [Payne], who’s also a woman of colour, about especially in the 70s—not so much now but we’re still under the sway of it—that for people of colour, there was no margin for error, that there was a perception that they needed to be even more perfect than anyone else. That if they made a mistake, if they deviated from a very finite path, that their reputations and their status within the community could be revoked quite immediately. And so that whole conversation really plays into Othello’s journey as a soldier, as an individual, especially in the beginning of the play when we hear that he has literally led the perfect life as a soldier, that he has done everything to that point exactly correctly and led himself as an exemplary individual. When Cassio talks about “reputation, reputation, reputation” in Act II, we understand that there’s an added pressure for him, for men of colour in the 70s especially, reputation was the foundation of their acceptance in the community.

 

We had a really excellent question from an audience member in St Catherines, who asked if we felt that Othello was a treatise on the dangers of mixed or interracial relationships and was it a colonialist cautionary tale. Collectively we responded that we didn’t feel that was the case, that what I think is very relevant to us is that the caution is about being very careful about whom you trust, and about not necessarily trusting or taking for truth information collected from only one source. This idea of fake news, especially in the [United] States right with the whole Breitbart concept, that there’s a whole section of the populace that willingly accepts news that’s from one very specific and very subjective viewpoint. That is inevitably Othello’s downfall.

 

Obviously when Shakespeare writes about jealousy, when he writes about the very clear images and very clear sense of gut-wrenching pain and terror and fear that goes through a person’s psyche when they are fearful that a partner—someone that they love, someone that they’ve opened up to—is being unfaithful to them, or is lying to them, Shakespeare captures that so viscerally, so that when you talk about Othello, you can’t help but talk about themes of jealousy, especially because they don’t just run through Othello. Iago is very clearly jealous of Cassio’s promotion. The foundation of the play is built on this idea of jealousy. Certainly Shakespeare reinforces the notion that this is his talking point, because he works in characters like Bianca, who serve to counterpoint the Othello-Desdemona journey by having this prostitute also have an issue of jealousy with Cassio, with whom she has fallen in love with.

 

We also had in the rehearsal hall with us an Iraqi refugee. Ahmed Moneka is our artist in residence right now, and he came to Canada from Iraq in 2015. His perspectives on the role of Othello and the role that honour plays within the psyche or structure of that character was also very interesting because historically within the Iraqi culture, very, very specific references to the honour of women in that society and what measures would be taken against them if they were found to be dishonourable, whether it was their choice or not. That helped to further illustrate Othello’s journey, or at least provide a different context for our understanding of it.

 

Every time I think about this play I reach into something that’s a little deeper, an understanding that’s a little more thorough. It constantly brings up additional questions for me, so I think there’s a lot going on.

 

As far as all of the themes go, because you recontextualized the play in a contemporary Canadian military context, do you see that these themes carry over implications for our military or for our peacekeeping missions, or for our foreign policy?

 

It’s interesting that you bring it up, because one of the resources that we looked to as we’re discussing Othello is a really interesting Internet article. It’s an article written by an American soldier [Eric Minton] but fascinating because in many ways the contemporary military life is not the same, but very similar across both forces, and it was an article that explains or how people understand the notion of Iago within a military context. You know in any society where you’re bringing together people with different pathologies, with different agendas, with different goals, you’re going to bring out individuals, or bring together individuals may have contrasting—and sometimes violently contrasting—agendas.

 

I think that like the best stories, even Othello serves as a cautionary tale for all of us, whether we exist in a military culture, or whether we exist in a civilian culture, and I think that because Shakespeare decidedly made a decision to put this play within a framework of a military culture, he is potentially partially speaking to that experience. Eric Minton indicates in the article that sure, he’s met people who have similarities to Iago, he’s met people who have similarities to Othello in his journey as a soldier; he’s met both archetypes of those people, people who have the potential to become an Iago or an Othello. But that’s not to say he’s met anyone specifically like that. I think that we all have the capacity to feel that kind of jealous, we all have the capacity to feel that kind of betrayal, especially from people that we trust. This idea that Iago and Othello have fought together, have bled together, have probably saved each other’s lives countless times and then to have Othello ostensibly pass Iago over for promotion, the clear sense of betrayal that would stem from that, especially given the way in which Iago views himself and the value that he places on himself, could be incredibly explosive for that kind of relationship.

 

So I think it’s important to note that although this is certainly not an indictment of the military or any of those types of services, good theatre, good drama, good plays, good stories help us to reflect the best and worst of the things within ourselves so that we can take something forward from them, so that we can learn from them, so that we can be better, and that for me is partially what we’re talking about here. We tell the story of Othello not just because it’s entertaining but because we want to encourage or show people (in this particular case) what not to do, what pitfalls not to fall into. That’s my personal point of view. That to me is the purpose of art, to hold up a beacon to what is best in the world, and sometimes we have to do that by sharing stories that show the pitfalls.

 

Have you received any reactions to your production from peacekeepers or Cypriots who were there in the war? If so, what did they think of your adaptation?

 

Yes, and mostly within the first week and a half, largely because in that first week and a half, we ended up touring to a lot of the places where they are already a large number of veterans living or Cypriots living: St Catherines being one, Kitchener being another, Hamilton being another. And we’ve had some really, really great responses from people about their experience both watching the show and taking part in the Cyprus Project. I remember a woman coming to our opening night with her children. She was born in Cyprus, family moved to Canada (can’t remember exactly when) but her father had taken part in the Cyprus Project, he had been one of the people we had interviewed. She attended with her two teenage children and was clearly overwhelmed by the Cyprus Project. We had a great discussion that night which I led, just about providing context for our production. Getting to speak to her after that chat and then also after the show, to hear her say how thankful she was we did this, and how thankful she was for the story, and how much she enjoyed the story was one of the most powerful moments for me this summer so far. That’s part of it: you hope that you do reach people some way.

 

We’ve had some veterans attend as well. Again, the response has been pretty positive. The people that we had at the show, because they were involved in the Cyprus Project for the most part, there was already interest from them. What’s interesting for me is that a lot of veterans who might not have knowledge of the play Othello, they would comment afterwards on the very interesting parallels. But so far the response has been very positive.

 

Did you also hear from other people who have no connections to Cyprus at all about what they learned, what they got out of the play?

 

That’s most of the people who will come and listen to the Cyprus Project. You do get a lot of people coming out and saying “I had no idea” or you clearly see that people are moved by these stories, and I think it only serves in the end, hopefully, a greater access point to this story of Othello. And overall, the reaction to both the Cyprus Project and to Othello from audiences across the province has been really, really positive.

 

How can artistic expression through theatre shed light, or perhaps even change, a person’s perspective on international relations and conflicts? Do you believe that theatrical expression can be used as a tool for international conflict management?

 

Yes, I do! As I mentioned earlier, I think there’s a very real potential for theatre to have an impact in any and all arenas of conflict. It’s no mystery that Shakespeare for example is used, very popularly, in prisons across the [United] States to help inmates progress beyond their individual reality. Because of the way that I think theatre can act as a bridge, as a guide, through stories, whether they’re crafted specifically for the purposes of conflict resolution or not, or (like in the case of Othello) they just provide a really excellent guideline, that they have the potential to affect people and to change people. I do feel that as an artist it’s my job to change people’s minds, to challenge a status quo.

 

In my mind, theatre and art and culture shouldn’t be divisive; they should be inclusive and it should allow us to celebrate what is great about ourselves but also understand that there’s an entire world around us that is made of individuals who are scurrying about their own individual journeys and yet in order to make this all work, we have to come together. And to me, the very act of coming to see a piece of theatre is about coming together, so yes, I do agree very strongly that art and theatre have the ability and the power and the relevance and an important role to play in that notion of conflict resolution, both at a very small and intimate scale and at a large, international context.

 

Thank you so much for doing this interview.

 

You’re welcome. I’m really grateful that you got in touch.

 

Photo credits:

Jordin Hall as Othello (2017), by Dahlia Katz. Photo courtesy of D. Jeremy Smith and Driftwood Theatre.

Christopher Darroch as Iago (2017), by Dahlia Katz. Photo courtesy of D. Jeremy Smith and Driftwood Theatre.

Christopher Darroch as Iago and Jordin Hall as Othello (2017), by Dahlia Katz. Photo courtesy of D. Jeremy Smith and Driftwood Theatre.

Fiona Sauder as Desdemona and Shelly Antony as Cassio (2017), by Dahlia Katz. Photo courtesy of D. Jeremy Smith and Driftwood Theatre.

Photo of Cyprus Project display on site (2017), taken by author.

Helen King as Bianca and Shelly Antony as Cassio (2017), by Dahlia Katz. Photo courtesy of D. Jeremy Smith and Driftwood Theatre.

Ayesha Mansur Gonsalves as Emilia and Jordin Hall as Othello (2017), by Dahlia Katz. Photo courtesy of D. Jeremy Smith and Driftwood Theatre.

Jordin Hall as Othello, Christopher Darroch as Iago, and Helen King as Bianca (2017), by Dahlia Katz. Photo courtesy of D. Jeremy Smith and Driftwood Theatre.

Othello (2017), by Dahlia Katz. Photo courtesy of D. Jeremy Smith and Driftwood Theatre.


Disclaimer: Any views or opinions expressed in articles are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the NATO Association of Canada. \

About Benson Cheung

Benson recently completed his Honours BA in history and political science at the University of Toronto. His research interests stretch from historical dictatorships to contemporary political media and culture. During university, Benson was a highly enthusiastic member of the Model UN community, helped establish refugee fundraising non-profit ‘Borderless’, and has contributed to numerous undergraduate journals and publications. He hopes to continue to pursue academia in the future.