press & media
HARLEM ARTIST DEBRA ANN BYRD SET TO TAKE THE STAGE AT SHAKESPEARE'S BIRTPLACE
The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust's first Writer-in-Residence, Debra Ann Byrd, is set to return to Stratford-upon-Avon in October 2019 with her new solo show BECOMING OTHELLO: A Black Girl's Journey.
AWARD WINNING HARLEM-BASED CLASSICAL ACTRESS DEBRA ANN BYRD RETURNS TO PHOENIX WITH A NEW ONE-WOMAN SHOW
(February 2020 – Harlem, New York) Classical actress and producer Debra Ann Byrd undertook a remarkable journey to take on the role of Shakespeare’s noble general Othello — which she recently performed for Southwest Shakespeare Company at Taliesin West, winning her the 2019 Broadway World Arizona Lead Actress Award. This past fall the actress recorded her experiences on becoming ‘The Moor of Venice’ as writer-in-residence at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in the UK, where she first performed her new solo show.
BECOMING A FELLOW FOR OTHELLO | See Becoming Othello: A Black Girl’s Journey at Birthplace
By Gill Sutherland | 8th October 2019
We are becoming more used to seeing female actors taking on Shakespeare’s well-known male characters (hello King John on page 8!) but what is it like to play a member of the opposite sex? Here to tell us is American actor Debra Ann Byrd, who performs her new solo show Becoming Othello: A Black Girl’s Journey at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust centre on Henley Street this Wednesday (9th October).
Black Shakespeare champion working to change views on 'colour-blind' casting
The head of a US mixed-race theatre company will never forget the racism she encountered when, as a graduating drama student, she was cast as Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest. “I was a black woman playing a traditional white role and the rest of the cast were white,” she said. “When the audience came to see the show, some folks were shocked.”
WATCH & LISTEN
This Week in Shakespeare: Debra Ann Byrd | Othello
Sep 23, 2015
This Week in ShakespeareEpisode 72 // She practiced. The establishment told her not to try. She practiced more. Then, she created a space for classically trained actors of color to show their work. Fifteen seasons later, no one is telling Debra Ann Byrd of the Harlem Shakespeare Festival not to try. Featuring: Othello Act V, Scene II