Santa Cruz Good Times

Friday
Feb 12th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Learning From Othello

AE_Jones_CoreyActor Corey Jones takes a deep look at his Shakespearean character
It takes one passionate actor to agree to play the same role twice, but when Artistic Director of Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Marco Barricelli, asked Corey Jones if he would star as Othello for the second time in his career, Jones jumped at the opportunity.

A resident actor at the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts in Santa Maria for the last three years, Jones earned his acting chops with a wide variety of roles ranging from Max Dettweiler in “The Sound of Music,” to Macbeth, to Aslan in “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.” But it was not until he scored the role of Othello at PCPA, that he discovered his true passion for Shakespeare.

“It’s heralded as one of his great plays for a reason,” says Jones. “As an actor, you’re always looking for those meaty roles, and in ‘Othello’ you can trust the language to do most of the work.”

The tragedy centers on the doomed romance of Othello, a Moorish general in the Venetian Army, and his new wife Desdemona, the daughter of a senator. Though their marriage should have represented a victory over racial intolerance, Othello’s devious aide Iago uses the union to exact revenge upon him, turning their love into lethal jealousy.

“Desdemona and Othello truly love each other and have risked a lot for each other despite the odds—their difference in race, their different values as far as how they were raised, their lack of approval from her father, which was a big breach of tradition in Venice, and the fact that he is a military man,” says Jones. “Yet there is a morsel of doubt supplanted in Othello’s mind by Iago which causes a downward spiral leading to both of their deaths; that’s the tragedy of it.”

While Jones believes that we can all learn from Othello’s ruin, it is his true love connection with Desdemona that we should try to emulate. In a society that sometimes values online dating over soul mates, Jones wonders if that level of commitment still exists.

“Othello and Desdemona open their hearts to each other, and that courage, that type of love … it’s hard to tell if we have that anymore,” he says. “Relationships today are like two or three year interviews, and all of the jealousy, deception, mistrust and miscommunication that Shakespeare was writing about in the 1600s, we still struggle with in 2010.”

While Jones has made a name for himself playing tragic heroes, he can hardly resist the opportunity to let loose with humorous roles like Anthony Dull in this season’s “Love’s Labor’s Lost.” Juggling parts in two vastly different Shakespeare Santa Cruz plays can be time-consuming, but he would not have it any other way.

“‘Love’s Labor’s Lost’ is the complete other side of the spectrum—I only have 10 or 12 lines, but it provides for a moment of levity; I get to be silly,” he says. “Instead of being a constable in the 1600s, I’m a 21st century campus policeman who is not the sharpest tool in the shed; after all, if you’re named Anthony Dull you’re doomed for life.”

Though it can be difficult to transition from one role to the other, Jones believes that it does wonders for his mood after rehearsing an especially difficult or tragic scene in “Othello.” Rather than taking home all of those feelings of deception and emotional strife, he can head over to the “Love’s Labor’s Lost” rehearsal and laugh it off.

“At times I’ll be going over my ‘Othello’ lines with Anthony’s lisp,” he laughs. “And some days the plays are scheduled for the same day, so I’ll be thinking, ‘OK who am I now?’”

All joking aside, the Chicago native should have no problem balancing his workload, having acted for nearly two decades since his freshman year of high school. “I got bit by the acting bug early,” he says. And while he has big dreams of landing an acting gig in New York or Los Angeles sometime in the future, for now, he is fully dedicated to making this ‘Othello’ performance his best yet.

“It’s a wonderful cautionary tale about trusting instincts, deception and pure love” he says. “We’re a bit more sophisticated today, but we fall into the same types of situations as Othello.”


For more information, visit shakespearesantacruz.com.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Heart Me Up

In defense of Valentine’s Day

 

“be(ing) of love (a little) more careful”—e.e. cummings

Wednesday (Feb. 10) is Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. Friday (Feb. 12) is Lincoln’s 207th birthday. Sunday is Valentine’s Day. On Ash Wednesday, with foreheads marked with a cross of ashes, we hear the words, “From dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return.” Reminding us that our bodies, made of matter, will remain here on Earth when we are called back. It is our Soul that will take us home again. Lent offers us 40 days and nights of purification in preparation for the Resurrection (Easter) festival (an initiation) and for the Three Spring Festivals (at the time of the full moon)—Aries, Taurus, Gemini. The New Group of World Servers have been preparing since Winter Solstice. The number 40 is significant. The Christ (Pisces World Teacher) was in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights prior to His three-year ministry. The purpose of this desert exile was to prepare his Archangel (light) body to withstand the pressures of the Earth plane (form and matter). We, too, in our intentional purifications and prayers during the 40 days of Lent, prepare ourselves (physical body, emotions, lower mind) to receive and be able to withstand the irradiation of will, love/wisdom and light streaming into the Earth at spring equinox, Easter, and the Three Spiritual Festivals. What is Lent? The Anglo-Saxon word, lencten, comes from an ancient spring festival, agricultural rites marking the transition between winter and summer. The seasons reflect changes in nature (physical world) and humanity responds with social festivals of gratitude and of renewal. There is a purification process, prayerfulness in nature and in humanity in preparation for a great flow of spiritual energies during springtime. Valentine’s Day: Aquarius Sun, Taurus moon. Let us offer gifts of comfort, ease, harmony, beauty and satisfaction. Things chocolate and golden. Venus and Taurus things.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Making Dreams

Coen brothers salute vintage Hollywood in sly comedy ‘Hail, Caesar!’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Pub Watch

Mega gastro pub-in-progress at the Old Sash Mill, plus the best pasta dish downtown

 

How do you know love is real?

When you feel the groove in your heart and you’re inspired to dance. Becca Bing, Boulder Creek, Teacher

 

Temple of Umami

Watsonville’s Miyuki is homestyle cooking, Japanese-style

 

How would you stop people from littering?

Teach them from the time that they’re small that it’s not an appropriate behavior. Juliet Jones, Santa Cruz, Claims Adjuster