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York College theatre to present “Red Velvet,” story of first African-American to play Othello

February 27, 2018
Performers of Red Velvet pose in front of curtain.

York College’s Division of Theatre will present “Red Velvet,” an award-winning play about the first African-American actor to play Othello, at 7:30 p.m. on March 22 and 23, and at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on March 24, in the Waldner Performing Arts Center. Tickets can be reserved at www.ycp.edu/theatre or by calling the box office at 717.600.3868.

Written by Lolita Chakrabarti, the play takes place in 1833, the year when the British Empire abolished slavery leading to protests and violence throughout London. When famous Shakespearean actor Edmund Kean collapses on stage during a production of “Othello,” a young American actor named Ira Aldridge is hired to take over. He becomes the first African-American to play the famous role. Audiences, critics, and even his co-stars have to re-examine their ideas of what acting is and who should have the opportunity to perform certain roles.

York College’s production will be directed by Danielle Drakes, education outreach coordinator at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. Craig Babineaux, a junior theatre major from Odenton, Md., will be featured as Ira Aldridge.

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