image from Othello poster: candle snuffed outOthello’s themes of racial politics, betrayal, and jealousy are “incredibly relevant,” says director Tanisha Taitt.

University Players to stage Othello in historic first

University Players will open its season with its first-ever presentation of the Shakespearean tragedy Othello.

Director Tanisha Taitt describes the play’s combination of love, suspicion, and murder as incredibly relevant.

“We live in a time in which our sociopolitical divides are so great that we see the bloody manifestation of racial politics, which create circumstances that make villains out of victims and victims out of villains,” she says. “I direct contemporary work, but I very excited by how much of today and how much of human nature — which is timeless — dwells within this piece.”

Artistic director of Cahoots Theatre in Toronto, Taitt brings with her a wealth of experience as an educator, singer, playwright, director, and performance artist.

“I am compelled by the idea of making Othello feel more urgent and modern than people might expect, while still making it decidedly Shakespearean,” she says.

The production will open Friday, Sept. 27, in the Essex Hall Theatre.

A reception at 7 p.m. welcomes community partners, guests, season subscribers, and ticketholders. Tickets for this show or the season are on sale now at or by calling the box office at 519-253-3000, ext. 2808.