Ira Aldridge: London’s First Black Othello
In 1833, English audiences were shocked to see an African American man play the role of Shakespeare’s Othello. Ira Aldridge was London’s first African-American Othello and is the subject of the play Red Velvet by Lolita Chakrabarti. Shirley Basfield Dunlap, Director of Red Velvet at Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, tells us about Aldridge. Dunlap is an Associate Professor, and the Theatre Coordinator, at Morgan State University.
It is Free