Shakespeare bears it all. So they say. It supports any version, any adaptation, any update… And it is usually true… as long as it is done rigorously… Years ago, I created Othello with only three characters, essentializing the plot and conflicts to the maximum. And Shakespeare resisted. Then came Hamlet, Macbeth … cutting texts, moving them, playing with situations, changing characters, contexts … And Shakespeare resisted.
So when Jesús Torres asked me to direct an Othello that would take place in a high school, I thought: “Why not? Shakespeare supports it all ”. As long as it is done rigorously … A work that is based on manipulation and insecurity (manipulation of Yago and insecurity of Othello) fits like a glove in an adolescent context. Who is more manipulable and insecure than a young man? It is easy for a teenager to understand the motivations (on the other hand, legitimate and just) of a neglected Iago, even his first impulsive attempts to get revenge, as it is also to understand Othello’s insecurities …
At the end of the show, the artistic team and specialists in education and youth issues, hold a colloquium-QUORUM
“”Up to nine years I would want to be killing her,” says Othello in Shakespeare’s play when he thinks Desdemona is making fun of him. The argument of the classic is known to all: the Moor believes he is deceived by his lover and jealousy makes him kill her in the last act.
Othello may well be a sixteen-year-old, and the Palace of Venice could well be a classroom in any high school, where relationships of friendship, love, power, jealousy and secrets run from desk to desk, like Desdemona’s handkerchief.
Is it possible to transfer Shakespeare’s characters to an institute? Definitely yes. With hardly any adulteration of the original text, through a process of translation and adaptation, our work addresses current issues among young people, such as harassment, bullying, social networks and gender violence.