Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Blair Underwood, Richard Thomas and Kristen Connolly Lead the Cast of The Old Globe’s Othello, helmed by Barry Edelstein

(from left) Richard Thomas stars as Iago, Blair Underwood as Othello, and Kristen Connolly as Desdemona in Shakespeare's Othello, directed by Old Globe Artistic Director Barry Edelstein, June 22 - July 27, 2014 at The Old Globe. Photo by Jim Cox.

(from left) Richard Thomas stars as Iago, Blair Underwood as Othello, and Kristen Connolly as Desdemona in Shakespeare’s Othello, directed by Old Globe Artistic Director Barry Edelstein, June 22 – July 27, 2014 at The Old Globe. Photo by Jim Cox.

Blair Underwood leads the cast in the title role of Shakespeare’s classic tragedy, Othello, the first show in the Old Globe’s 2014 Summer Shakespeare Festival, and stars alongside Richard Thomas as Iago, and Kristen Connolly as Desdemona.  Performances run June 22 – July 27, with Opening Night on Saturday, June 28 at 8:00 p.m. Subscription tickets to the Globe’s 2014 Summer Season range from $92 to $332. Single tickets start at $29. Tickets can be purchased online at, by phone at (619) 23-GLOBE or by visiting the Box Office at 1363 Old Globe Way in Balboa Park.

Directed by Old Globe Artistic Director Barry Edelstein, the cast also features Broadway and Globe veterans Noah Bean (Michael Cassio; Yellow Face, “Damages”), Jonny Orsini(Roderigo; The Nance), Mark Pinter (The Duke of Venice; the Globe’s Hamlet and Charley’s Aunt), Angela Reed (Emilia;Rock ‘n’ Roll, the Globe’s August: Osage County), and Mike Sears (Brabantio, Gratiano; La Jolla Playhouse’s Sideways and His Girl Friday).  Joining them are Old Globe/USD M.F.A. Program actors Erin Elizabeth Adams (Bianca), Meaghan Boeing (Ensemble),Lindsay Brill (Ensemble), Charlotte Bydwell (Ensemble), Lowell Byers (Ensemble), Jamal Douglas (Othello’s Aide-de-Camp), Adam Gerber (Ensemble), Kushtrim Hoxha (Montano), Stephen Hu (Ensemble), Tyler Kent (Ensemble),Robbie Simpson (Ensemble), Megan M. Storti (Ensemble), and Patrick Zeller (Lodovico).

The cast of Othello: (back row, from left) Robbie Simpson, Stephen Hu, Mike Sears, Jonny Orsini, Megan M. Storti, Mark Pinter, Noah Bean, Patrick Zeller, Adam Gerber, and Kushtrim Hoxha; (middle row) Lowell Byers, Charlotte Bydwell, Richard Thomas, Blair Underwood, Kristen Connolly, Angela Reed, and Jamal Douglas; (front row) Meaghan Boeing, Erin Elizabeth Adams, Lindsay Brill, and Tyler Kent. Shakespeare's Othello, directed by Old Globe Artistic director Barry Edelstein, runs June 22 - July 27, 2014 at The Old Globe. Photo by Jim Cox.

The cast of Othello: (back row, from left) Robbie Simpson, Stephen Hu, Mike Sears, Jonny Orsini, Megan M. Storti, Mark Pinter, Noah Bean, Patrick Zeller, Adam Gerber, and Kushtrim Hoxha; (middle row) Lowell Byers, Charlotte Bydwell, Richard Thomas, Blair Underwood, Kristen Connolly, Angela Reed, and Jamal Douglas; (front row) Meaghan Boeing, Erin Elizabeth Adams, Lindsay Brill, and Tyler Kent. Shakespeare’s Othello, directed by Old Globe Artistic director Barry Edelstein, runs June 22 – July 27, 2014 at The Old Globe. Photo by Jim Cox.

The creative team includes Wilson Chin (Scenic Design), Katherine Roth (Costume Design), Stephen Strawbridge(Lighting Design), Acme Sound Partners with Jason Crystal (Sound Design), Curtis Moore (Original Music), Ryan Nestor (Music Director), Jacob Grigolia-Rosenbaum (Fight Director), Ursula Meyer (Voice and Text Coach), Tara Rubin Casting (Casting), and Leila Knox (Stage Manager).

Two-time Golden Globe Award nominee Underwood most recently made his acclaimed Broadway debut in the iconic role of Stanley in Tennessee Williams’s A Streetcar Named Desire and garnered rave reviews opposite Cicely Tyson in Lifetime’s The Trip to Bountiful Also making their Globe debuts are Emmy Award winner Thomas (“The Americans,” “The Waltons”) and Connolly (“House of Cards,” The Cabin in the Woods). No stranger to the Bard, Underwood starred in Measure for Measurefor the 1993 summer season at the New York Shakespeare Festival (aka Shakespeare in the Park). Thomas and Connolly continue collaborations with Edelstein that began in New York: Thomas starred in Edelstein’s critically acclaimed production of Timon of Athens at The Public Theater in 2011, and Connolly in three Shakespeare plays that Edelstein helped produce at The Public. All three actors are making their Old Globe debuts.

From New York’s Shakespeare in the Park to Balboa Park, Artistic Director Barry Edelstein makes his outdoor directorial debut in The Old Globe’s Lowell Davies Festival Theatre with one of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedies. Despite the prejudices in Venice, the brilliant general Othello excels both on the battlefield and in the halls of state. But when he marries Desdemona, his envious lieutenant Iago sets in motion a diabolical plan to destroy him. Edelstein gives us a riveting, intense, and intimate production where poetry soars and swords clash, where true love and wrenching jealousy collide.

“The gifted actors who have assembled for Othello this summer make the case for the Globe’s preeminence among American Shakespeare theatres,” said Edelstein. “This talented company, led by Blair Underwood, Richard Thomas, and Kristen Connolly, grace our stage with their skills and imagination, and it’s my honor both to direct them and also to welcome them to San Diego.”

 Blair Underwood. Photo courtesy of The Old Globe.

Blair Underwood. Photo courtesy of The Old Globe.

Blair Underwood (Othello) is an award-winning actor/writer/director/producer. Underwood has received two Golden Globe Award nominations, 10 NAACP Image Award nominations (six wins), and was awarded a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album for former Vice President Al Gore’s album An Inconvenient Truth. His theatre credits include the recent Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams’s A Streetcar Named Desire, which garnered him a 2012 Drama League Distinguished Performance Award nomination; his one-man show IM4: From the Mountaintop to Hip Hop; and Purlie, New York Shakespeare Festival’s Measure for MeasureThe Game of Love and Chance, and Love Letters. His television credits include “Ironside,” The Trip to Bountiful, “The Event,” “In Treatment,” “Dirty Sexy Money,” “The New Adventures of Old Christine,” “Sex and the City,” Mama Flora’s Family, Murder in Mississippi, Soul of the Game, “City of Angels,” The Wishing Tree, andHeat Wave. His film credits include The Art of Getting By, Madea’s Family Reunion, Something New, Full Frontal, Rules of Engagement, Deep Impact, Just Cause, Posse, Set It Off, The Second Coming (director, executive producer, writer, and star), and The Bridge to Nowhere (directorial debut). He is the co-founder of Artists for a New South Africa (ANSA). In 2009, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation opened the Blair Underwood Clinic, a full-service, state-of-the art HIV/AIDS treatment clinic in Washington, D.C. The clinic was named after him due to his longtime charity advocacy.

Richard Thomas. Photo by Lia Chang

Richard Thomas. Photo by Lia Chang

Richard Thomas (Iago) starred in the award-winning series “The Waltons,” for which he won an Emmy Award for Best Lead Actor in a Drama Series, and has continued to star in series, films, plays, and over 50 movies for television. His theatre career began at age seven in 1958 with Broadway’s Sunrise at Campobello and continued with Fifth of JulyThe SeagullThe Front Page, Tiny Alice, Peer Gynt, Richard II, Richard III, HamletThe Stendhal SyndromeDemocracy, and A Naked Girl on the Appian Way, as well as the Broadway national tour of 12 Angry Men and Terrence McNally’s Unusual Acts of Devotion. His recent projects include David Mamet’s Race (Broadway), Timon of Athens (The Public Theater), Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays, and An Enemy of the People (Manhattan Theatre Club). Thomas starred in the series “Just Cause,” “It’s a Miracle,” and “The Adventures of Swiss Family Robinson.” His television films include Stephen King’s Nightmares & Dreamscapes and ItAll Quiet on the Western FrontThe Red Badge of Courage, The Master of Ballantrae, Johnny Belinda, Berlin Tunnel 21, Living Proof: The Hank Williams, Jr. Story, Hobson’s Choice, Roots: The Next Generations, Go Toward the Light, The Christmas Secret, Beyond the Prairie: The True Story of Laura Ingalls Wilder, Annie’s Point, Wild Hearts, and Hallmark’s Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. Thomas produced What Love Sees and For All Time for television and appeared in the films The Wonder Boys, Battle Beyond the Stars, The Todd Killings, Last Summer, Winning, Red Sky at Morning, Ang Lee’s Taking Woodstock, and the forthcoming Anesthesia. He most recently appeared as Jimmy Carter in Camp David at Arena Stage and can currently be seen as Agent Frank Gaad on FX’s “The Americans.”

Kristen Connolly. Photo courtesy of The Old Globe.

Kristen Connolly. Photo courtesy of The Old Globe.

Kristen Connolly (Desdemona) is making her Globe debut, having worked with Barry Edelstein on King Lear, All’s Well That Ends Well, and Measure for Measure, all at The Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival. She most recently completed work on the History Channel miniseries Houdini opposite Adrien Brody and is best known for playing Christina Gallagher on Netflix’s series “House of Cards.” Her other film credits include The Cabin in the WoodsThe BayThe HappeningRevolutionary RoadCertainty, and the soon-to-be-released A Good Marriage, written by Stephen King. Her television credits include “Nurse Jackie,” “The Good Wife,” “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” “Mercy,” and the web series “iChannel.”

Othello is supported in part through gifts from Qualcomm, Joan and Irwin Jacobs, Ann Davies, Brian and Silvija Devine, Nina and Robert Doede, and Pamela Farr and Buford Alexander. Additional support is provided by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Old Globe Artistic Director Barry Edelstein. Photo by Joseph Moran.

Old Globe Artistic Director Barry Edelstein. Photo by Joseph Moran.

Old Globe Artistic Director Barry Edelstein (Director) is a stage director, producer, author, and educator. Widely recognized as one of the leading authorities on the works of Shakespeare in the United States, he has directed nearly half of the Bard’s works. He recently made his Globe directorial debut with Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale starring Billy Campbell, the first Shakespeare to be staged in our indoor theatre in over a decade. As Director of the Shakespeare Initiative at The Public Theater (2008-2012), he oversaw all of the company’s Shakespearean productions, as well as its extensive educational, community outreach, and artist-training programs. At The Public, Edelstein staged Julius Caesar starring Jeffrey Wright for Shakespeare in the Park and The Merchant of Venice featuring Ron Leibman’s Obie Award-winning portrayal of Shylock. He was also Associate Producer of The Public’s Broadway production of The Merchant of Venice starring Al Pacino. From 1998-2003 he was Artistic Director of Classic Stage Company, where he produced and directed some of New York’s most memorable classical productions. Edelstein’s Shakespearean directorial credits include The Winter’s Tale with David Strathairn, Timon of Athenswith Richard Thomas, As You Like It with Gwyneth Paltrow, and Richard III with John Turturro. His additional credits include the Lucille Lortel Award-winning revival of Arthur Miller’s All My Sons; the world premiere of Steve Martin’s The Underpants, which he commissioned; Molière’s The Misanthrope starring Uma Thurman in her stage debut; and the world premiere of novelist Nathan Englander’s play The Twenty-Seventh Man. Edelstein has taught Shakespearean acting at The Juilliard School, NYU’s Graduate Acting Program, and the University of Southern California. His book Thinking Shakespeare (called by New York magazine “a must-read for actors”) was published in 2007 and is now the standard text on American Shakespearean acting. He is also the author of Bardisms: Shakespeare for All Occasions.

SEASON SUBSCRIPTIONS offer substantial savings with special subscriber benefits. Subscriptions can be purchased online at, by phone at (619) 23-GLOBE [234-5623], or by visiting the box office at 1363 Old Globe Way in Balboa Park. Subscriptions to the Globe’s 2014 Summer Season range from $92 to $332. Discounts are available for full-time students, patrons 29 years of age and younger, seniors, and groups of 10 or more.

Presented in the outdoor Lowell Davies Festival Theatre, the Old Globe 2014 Shakespeare Festival also includes Shakespeare’s comedy The Two Gentlemen of Verona, directed by Globe alumnus and Tony Award nominee Mark Lamos (Compleat Female Stage Beauty, Pentecost, Resurrection Blues). The Summer Season will also feature Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Tony Award-winning musical Into the Woods, which made its World Premiere at The Old Globe in 1986, in an inventive reimagining by Fiasco Theater, directed by Noah Brody and Ben Steinfeld, in a production that originated at McCarter Theatre Center. Rounding out the season is Ronald Harwood’s comedy Quartet, directed by Richard Seer. Into the Woods will run on the Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage in the Old Globe Theatre and Quartet in the Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre, both part of the Globe’s Conrad Prebys Theatre Center.

Additional events taking place during the run of Othello include:

Monday, June 23 at 7:00 p.m. 
The seminar series features a panel selected from the current show. Reception at 6:30 p.m. FREE

Tuesdays, July 1 and July 8 and Wednesday, July 2. 
Discuss the play with members of the cast and crew following the performance. FREE

Wednesday, July 2, Friday, July 11, Tuesdays, July 15, Saturday July 19, Thursday, July 24. 
Short lectures presented by members of the artistic team reveal fascinating insights about the play and the production. Shakespeare in the Garden lectures are presented at 7:00 p.m. in the Craig Noel Garden. FREE

DON’T MISS: Emmy Award-winning actor Richard Thomas (Iago) stars in A Distant Country Called Youth, an intimate look at the making of an artist—Tennessee Williams. One night only, Monday, June 9 at 7:00 p.m. on the Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage in the Old Globe Theatre, part of the Globe’s Conrad Prebys Theatre Center. Spanning Tennessee Williams’s life from his seminal younger years in St. Louis to the successful Broadway opening of The Glass Menagerie more than 20 years later, this one-man show weaves together elements from his extraordinary life, tormented family relationships, distant travels, casual lovers, and career ups and downs. A Distant Country Called Youth was adapted by Steve Lawson from The Selected Letters of Tennessee Williams, Volume I: 1920-1945, edited by Albert J. Devlin and Nancy M. Tischler, published by New Directions, and presented by special arrangement with Samuel French Inc.

LOCATION: The Old Globe is located in San Diego’s Balboa Park at 1363 Old Globe Way. There are numerous free parking lots available throughout the park. Valet parking is also available during performances ($10). For additional parking information visit

A REMINDER: Balboa Park’s 100-year-old Cabrillo Bridge, which provides access to Laurel Street and the west side of the Park, will be closed to automobiles and vehicular traffic through June during Caltrans’s seismic retrofitting process. The bridge will remain accessible to pedestrians and bicycles, so patrons could arrive a bit earlier and enjoy the short walk across the iconic bridge towards Plaza de Panama and the historic views of the California Tower and Dome. To access The Old Globe during this repair period, vehicle traffic should enter Balboa Park from the east via Park Boulevard and President’s Way. The Organ Pavilion, Alcazar Garden, and Hall of Champions lots all offer ample parking, and a lovely short walk through the Park. Guests may also be dropped off in front of the Mingei International Museum. The Balboa Park valet is located in front of the Japanese Friendship Garden. For directions and up-to-date information, please visit

The Tony Award-winning Old Globe is one of the country’s leading professional regional theatres and has stood as San Diego’s flagship arts institution for over 75 years. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Barry Edelstein and Managing Director Michael G. Murphy, The Old Globe produces a year-round season of 14 productions of classic, contemporary, and new works on its three Balboa Park stages: the Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage in the 600-seat Old Globe Theatre and the 250-seat Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre, both part of The Old Globe’s Conrad Prebys Theatre Center, and the 605-seat outdoor Lowell Davies Festival Theatre, home of its internationally renowned Shakespeare Festival. More than 250,000 people attend Globe productions annually and participate in the theatre’s education and community programs. Numerous world premieres such as A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and MurderThe Full Monty, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, A Catered Affair, and the annual holiday musical Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! have been developed at The Old Globe and have gone on to enjoy highly successful runs on Broadway and at regional theatres across the country.

Other articles on Othello:
Jun. 22 – July 27: Richard Thomas and Kristen Connolly Set for Old Globe Debut in OTHELLO Globe taps Richard Thomas for ‘Othello’ Richard Thomas & Kristen Connolly Set for The Old Globe’s OTHELLO Richard Thomas Debut In Old Globe’s Othello Old Globe Announces Stars of Othello to Kick Off Summer Shakespeare Festival

Other articles on Richard Thomas:
Mar. 21-May 4: Richard Thomas, Ron Rifkin, Hallie Foote and Khaled Nabaway Set for Arena Stage’s World Premiere of Lawrence Wright’s Camp David
Mar. 21 – May 4: Arena Stage Presents World Premiere of Lawrence Wright’s Camp David Starring Tony Award winner Ron Rifkin and Emmy Award winner Richard Thomas
MTC’s An Enemy of The People Starring Boyd Gaines and Richard Thomas Begin Previews at Samuel J. Friedman Theatre
Richard Thomas and Boyd Gaines to star in An Enemy of the People at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre during Manhattan Theatre Club’s 2012-2013 Season
Tony Award – winning Playwright Terrence McNally to be Honored at Westport Country Playhouse Annual Gala, September 24, 2012
Photos: Highlights of Shinsai: Theaters for Japan (3pm) with Andre Bishop, Mary Beth Hurt, Jennifer Lim, Angela Lin, Philip Kan Gotanda, Thom Sesma, Sab Shimono, Richard Thomas, Jay O. Sanders, and more
Photos: Highlights of Shinsai: Theaters for Japan (8pm) with Oskar Eustis, Patti LuPone, Lisa Emery, Ann Harada, Paolo Montalban, Thom Sesma, Sab Shimono, Henry Stram, Richard Thomas, John Weidman and more
Photos: In Rehearsal with Director Bartlett Sher and the cast of Shinsai: Theaters for Japan

Other articles by Lia Chang:
Late Night Singing with Garth Kravits at 54 Below with The Skivvies, at Jim Caruso’s Cast Party at Birdland and Michael Raye’s Soul Gathering
Jun. 4-29: Tony Award–winner BD Wong, Sab Shimono, Julyana Soelistyo, Stan Egi, Orville Mendoza, Paolo Montalban and More Set for A.C.T.’s U.S. Premiere of Orphan of Zhao, a co-production with La Jolla Playhouse 
June 4: Garth Kravits, Lena Hall, Lesli Margherita, Wesley Taylor and More Strip Down with The Skivvies at 54 Below 
May 31 – June 22: Annette O’Toole Leads Cast of Wendy Wasserstein’s “Third” Helmed by Michael Cumpsty at Two River Theater Company 
June 5-7: National Asian Artists Project To Present All-Asian Production of OLIVER! Featuring Raul Aranas, Anthea Neri, Bonale Zohn Fambrini, Mel Sagrado Maghuyop, Cindy Cheung, Scott Watanabe, Virginia Wing, David Shih and More 
May 28 – June 29: Lisa Joyce, Henry Kelemen and CJ Wilson Join Mary McCann in Atlantic Theater Company’s OUR NEW GIRL
Jun. 23: The Black Stars of The Great White Way Broadway Reunion: Live The Dream at Carnegie Hall Features Chapman Roberts, Norm Lewis, André De Shields, Chuck Cooper, Brandon Victor Dixon and More
Lucille Lortel Awards for Here Lies Love, Fun Home, The Open House, Good Person of Szechwan
A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder Leads 2014 Tony Award Nominations; Bryan Cranston, LaTanya Richardson, Neil Patrick Harris, Mark Rylance, Audra McDonald, Leigh Silverman among nominees
Photos: AALDEF Honors Mari Matsuda, Aasif Mandvi, and John Chou in 2014 at 40th Anniversary Celebration
Photos: Bryan Cranston, Peter Jay Fernandez, Roslyn Ruff, Tamara Tunie, Leslie Uggams, Ruben Santiago-Hudson Celebrate All The Way Opening Night
Photos: Backstage and Opening Night of Signature’s World Premiere of David Henry Hwang’s Kung Fu
Photos: Harriet Harris, John Tartaglia, Christine Toy Johnson, Alan Muraoka, James Saito and More celebrate Ann Harada’s Debut at Lincoln Center in the American Songbook Series
Q & A with Meet Me in St. Louis: A Live Radio Play’s Garth Kravits
Photos: David Henry Hwang, Annie Baker and Rajiv Joseph honored at Sixth Annual Steinberg Playwright “Mimi” Awards 
Photos: André De Shields, Michael Shannon, Rajiv Joseph, Christine Sherrill, Doug Peck, Alexis J. Rogers, Karen Ziemba and More Celebrate 2013 Jeff Equity Awards
Photos: Christine Toy Johnson, Baayork Lee, Jose Llana, Ann Harada, Dodie Pettit and More at Charles Randolph-Wright’s “Three Voices” concert series at Stage 72 
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang

Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia recently starred as Carole Barbara in Lorey Hayes’ Power Play at the 2013 National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, N.C., with Pauletta Pearson Washington, Roscoe Orman, Lorey Hayes, Marcus Naylor and Phynjuar, and made her jazz vocalist debut in Rome Neal’s Banana Puddin’ Jazz “LADY” at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in New York.  She is profiled in Jade Magazine.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2014 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at

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