You are the casting director for a new production of William Shakespeare's play Othello. Cast the main parts (Othello, Desdemona, Iago, Cassio, and Emilia) by researching the work of contemporary...

You are the casting director for a new production of William Shakespeare's play Othello. Cast the main parts (Othello, Desdemona, Iago, Cassio, and Emilia) by researching the work of contemporary actors, choosing ones with reviews that support your choice. As part of your argument, you should explain what each role demands.  

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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The first requirement for casting actors in William Shakespeare's Othello is ensuring that they have the training and vocal technique necessary for Shakespearian drama. That eliminates many well-known American movie and television actors.

Othello: Because he is a Moor, the actor should be Arabic or African in ethnicity. As Othello was a general, he should be athletic in appearance and physical presence. Chiwetel Ejiofor has won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor for his performance of Othello previously.

Iago: This role requires an actor skilled at playing a persuasively charming villain. Rory Kinnear has won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor for his recent protrayal of Iago at the National Theater, and has the vocal technique and training for this important role.

Desdemona: Desdemona requires a wide emotional range, with the ability to convey deep love for Othello, combined with strength and intelligence. Romola Sadie Garai's success as Cordelia suggests that she can project the combination of virtue and strength needed for the role.

Cassio: This role requires less range than Iago or Othello; an actor mainly needs the ability to appear innocent but impulsive. Tom Hiddleston has done a good job in many Shakespearian plays, and can project the right combination of wholesomeness and injured innocence.

Emilia: This is mainly a supporting role, but requires the ability to be convincingly pragmatic until she discovers, with genuine horror, the consequences of her actions. Cate Blanchett has the appropriate training and range, and is still in the appropriate age bracket to play this on stage.

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