Santa Cruz Good Times

Saturday
Nov 29th
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

 

Good Times Holiday Giving

Giving Where It Helps

 

Giving Thanks: The Thought-Form of Solution

We are in the time and under the influence of Sagittarius, sign of the wanderer, good food, good music, and the joy (Jupiter as ruler) that occurs from giving to others while simultaneously giving thanks from our hearts. Having the Thanksgiving holiday during the month of Sag is not a mistake. No other sign understands joy (an aspect of the Soul) as Sag (except Pisces when not in despair). “Sag is a beam of directed and focused light. The beam reveals a greater light ahead, illuminating the Way to the center of the Light,” emitting the Ray of Joyfulness. Thanksgiving is a time for gratitude; in the form of prayers, thoughts, feelings, wishes, hopes and greetings. Gratitude is something we still need to learn. Gratitude creates goodwill. Together, gratitude and goodwill create the “thought-form of solution” for humanity and our world’s problems. Gratitude and goodwill are the prerequisites for the reappearance of the Christ, the Aquarian World Teacher. In Ancient Wisdom texts it is written, “being grateful is the hallmark of one who is enlightened.” Gratitude comes from the Soul—the characteristics of which are love and wisdom (Ray 2). Gratitude is scientifically and occultly (mental, not emotional) a releasing agent. Gratitude liberates us and everything around us. Also a service to others, gratitude is deeply scientific in nature, releasing us from the past and laying open our future path leading to the new culture and civilization, the new laws and principles, the rising light of Aquarian, the Age of Friendship and Equality. The Hierarchy lays much emphasis upon gratitude. Let us be grateful this year and this season together. And so now the days of light illuminating the darkness begin (December’s festivals and feast days). Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. I am grateful for all of you, my readers.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of November 28

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Round About Now

The glory of persimmons, plus Ivéta scone mix and lunch at Assembly

 

What charities would you like to see people support this season?

Judy Allen, Scotts Valley, Consulting

 

Big Basin Vineyards

I was just in the process of purchasing a bottle of Big Basin’s 2012 Homestead in Vinocruz when Matt Ryan walked into the store. Ryan manages the tasting room, sales and the mailing list at Big Basin, and, considering the popularity of their wines, he’s a very busy man.

 

Ashby Confections

Local chocolate maker talks chocolate and self control