WOSU’s theater critic Joy Reilly talks with director Alison Bomber, senior text and voice coach at the Royal Shakespeare Company in England, about putting text in the service of Shakespeare’s bloody tragedy Othello.
Bomber is working with The Department of Theater at The Ohio State University on a variety of projects in Central Ohio.
In this video, she discusses directing nine OSU M.F.A. actors in a fast-paced, 90-minute production of William Shakespeare’s Othello, particularly her focus on the practical nature of the text.
The words are doing a very practical job, Bomber said. Practicing Shakespeare is all about “putting pressure on the language” to propel action.
“Each of these words, each of these extraordinary (sometimes) images, pictures that are cast in the words are doing a very practical job within a scene of shutting somebody up, or encouraging somebody to come forward and speak,” Bomber said. “And it’s finding out what it is that makes an actor speak the next thought, it’s looking for those triggers, it’s looking for the next thing that happens that makes somebody say something.”
“Shakespeare was, above all, a man of the theater. “These plays are practical texts, they’re not philosophical poetry,” said Bomber.
Bomber goes on to discusses using the playwright’s text to propel and bring alive the fight scenes.
Get a glimpse of the action in this video.