Mia Hilt and Carter Hoffer as twins Viola and Sebastian in the South Dakota Shakespeare Festival The SDSF presented “Twelfth Night, or What You Will" in June of 2021.

VERMILLION, S.D. – The South Dakota Shakespeare Festival (SDSF) is pleased to announce their 11th season with the classic tragedy "Othello," running June 16-19, 2022. This will be the SDSF’s ninth professional summer production in Vermillion’s Prentis Park, and its first tragedy since "Macbeth" in 2015. "Othello" will also be streamed online.

The 2022 season and production are dedicated in honor and gratitude for the life and work of Mary Merrigan, a staunch supporter of the SDSF, who made immeasurable contributions to the Vermillion area community.

"Othello" will be directed by Tara Moses, a citizen of Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, Mvskoke, multi-award-winning playwright, co-artistic director of Red Eagle Soaring, co-Founder of Groundwater Arts, and a current M.F.A. candidate in Directing at Brown/Trinity Rep.

“I am thrilled to be making my debut with the SDSF," said Moses. "'Othello' has the potential to dive deep into the nuanced and specific relationship with racism and bigotry in diverse communities, specifically Indigenous communities, and I am thankful for the opportunity to explore it.”

The SDSF is excited to once again hire professional actors from across the country, bringing a diverse company of local and national actors to the cast of this timeless play. Information about auditions will be available soon.

"Othello" is one of Shakespeare’s most acclaimed, most often-produced, and most controversial plays. The accomplished general Othello is driven into a jealous rage by his aide Iago, who envies Othello’s seemingly charmed life. By cunningly manipulating perceptions and reality, Iago convinces Othello that his new bride Desdemona is having an affair with the handsome young officer Cassio. Shakespeare takes a deeply personal dive into themes of love, trust, prejudice, marriage and honor. The play has fascinated artists and audiences for centuries in part due to its dual lead roles: Othello, the first sympathetic and three-dimensional black character written in Western drama, and Iago, the deliciously evil villain you love to hate.

Further information about the production and the SDSF’s outreach, educational programming and related events will be available in the coming months.

The mission of the SDSF is to engage, connect and inspire communities by exploring our shared human experiences through inclusive, professional Shakespeare productions and theatre arts education. Our values encompass access, inclusion, integrity and artistic excellence.

Since 2012, the SDSF has been producing free, world-class Shakespeare in the Park in Vermillion, South Dakota, accompanied by a wide array of education and engagement programming, through partnerships with local and regional schools and organizations. The SDSF values diversity and inclusion in its work, and it seeks to create theatre and build audiences that reflect and nourish the diversity of its communities. Since its inception, and in keeping with our mission, all festival events are free and open to the public.

More information can be found at www.sdshakespearefestival.org.

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