A Multilingual Adaptation of Shakespeare’s Tragedy

Presented by Will Pewitt (Producer/Director)

Oct. 20 - Nov. 17, 2023

Performance Schedule

Antique painting of a Cyprus landscape


Friday, October 20, 7 p.m., MOCA Jacksonville  
Saturday, October 21, 7 p.m., MOCA Jacksonville
Sunday, October 22, 1 p.m., MOCA Jacksonville

Saturday, October 28, 7:30 p.m. Limelight Theatre, St. Augustine
Purchase Limelight Theatre Tickets Here

Friday, November 10, 7 p.m., Friday Musicale
Saturday, November 11, 7 p.m., Friday Musicale
Purchase Friday Musicale Tickets Here

Thursday, November 16, 7 p.m., Open Dress Rehearsal, The Lazzara Performance Hall, UNF

Friday, November 17, 9:30 a.m., The Lazzara Performance Hall, UNF
     •  TBA – Performance at 9:30 a.m. followed by Q&A with cast and crew for high school students


Additional Info

Spinnaker: Radio Show Broadcast  – Airing TBA

Thomas G. Carpenter Library – Shakespeare Exhibit TBA
     •  Curated in partnership with Department of English and Special Collections

*RSVP required / limited seating – email Will Pewitt at will.pewitt@unf.edu


Cover image of Othello playbill

Director, Producer, and Script Adaptor Will Pewitt is leading an interdisciplinary array of students to create an original multilingual version of Shakespeare’s iconic tragedy Othello. With performances scheduled for Fall 2023, script work has been ongoing for over a full year based on the concept developed by the Director, who is faculty in UNF's Department of English and Hicks Honors College.

With a background in Arabic translation, Professor Pewitt’s initial idea has been for each of the characters in Shakespeare’s most cross-cultural play to speak lines in what would have been their historically accurate languages. Having overseen script work for several prior UNF Shakespeare shows, this particular production breaks new ground by incorporating linguistic diversity of five separate languages — English, Italian, Arabic, Spanish, and Greek — with editing and translating involving students from all over the University working alongside the Director.

As the script is now finalized, the production is now gearing up for its Fall 2023 show run with a cast and crew from all over UNF taking part in the myriad tasks of stage managing, set building, art directing, scheduling, dramaturgy, acting, designing, and marketing. With students majoring in disciplines as far afield as Engineering, Psychology, Film, Biology, English, Classical Voice, Business, Communication, and Computer Science, Professor Pewitt intends for the show to highlight not just the continuing fresh resonances that can be brought to life from pre-modern literature but also the interactive ways students from different departments can inform and impact one another.

The show tours to different locations in Northeast Florida each weekend, starting at MOCA Jacksonville on Oct. 20 and wrapping on Nov. 17 at UNF’s Lazzara Performance Hall. Othello is the story of a Moroccan general whose marriage to a Venetian noblewoman is seemingly able to overcome prejudicial challenges to their love until these forces manifest in their villainy of a brother-in-arms he tragically trusts. For further information or to arrange a class field trip for the Nov. 17 show, please contact Prof. Pewitt at will.pewitt@unf.edu.

Professor Pewitt is deeply grateful to organizations that have provided funding for this production based on grants he has written and been fortunate enough to have received. Special thanks to the Office of Faculty Excellence, the Humanities and Arts Program, the Eisen Experiential Learning program, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the Office of Interdisciplinary Studies, the Hicks Honors College, and the UNF Department of English.

Giving to the UNF Shakespeare Fund

The UNF Shakespeare Fund relies on the generosity of alumni and friends to provide immediate support for productions. All gifts, regardless of size, help to support and enhance our student’s UNF experience through student programming, out-of-classroom education, curriculum enhancement, and more. These plays provide UNF students and volunteers with a stepping-stone to begin thinking about important topics, as well as a space to explore their own ideas.

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We extend our thanks to the following University of North Florida departments and units for their assistance with this project and support to make it happen.

The Department of English
The Hicks Honors College
The College of Arts and Sciences
The Office of Diversity and Inclusion
The Office of Faculty Excellence
The Office of Interdisciplinary Programs
The Humanities and Arts Program
The Eisen Experiential Learning Grant
The UNF Fine Arts Center

Will Pewitt is deeply grateful to these programs who have provided funding based on the grants he has written for them. He would like to additionally thank a number of individuals whose guidance and contributions have made this production possible:
Jennie Ziegler, Ruth Lopez, Paige Perez, Sara Menendez, Michael Boyles, Jamie Roarty, Dr. Keith Cartwright, Dr. John White, Dr. Richmond Wynn, Dr. Julie Merten, Dr. Justin Sipes, Dr. Jeff Chamberlain, and Dr. Leslie Kaplan. Thank you for advocating for this show and our students.


Cast Members & Stage Crew

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See headshots and bios of our cast and crew here.



Othello Recording in The Lazzara Performance Hall 

In this unique take on Shakespeare’s iconic tragedy, UNF students and alums performed an original multilingual version of the play based on a script concept from director Will Pewitt (Department of English). The play follows adoring newlyweds, Othello (a Moroccan general) and Desdemona (a Venetian noblewoman), who both believe they have overcome the prejudicial forces aiming to keep them apart — until they are overwhelmed by those forces, embodied by Shakespeare’s most insidiously resourceful villain: Iago. The show ran from Oct 20 – Nov 17. This performance was an open dress rehearsal in the Lazzara Performance Hall on the night of November 16.