Staging Othello: Turning students into directors

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Alyse Knorr

Abstract

The *Othello* staging project invites introductory literature students to imagine that they are directing a new production of *Othello*. Students create a production proposal and poster that illustrate their directorial choices, using their original interpretation of the play as a guiding philosophy. This assignment successfully addresses many of the challenges associated with teaching an introductory-level, required "core" course of non-English-majors, as well as the challenges of teaching drama in general and Shakespeare in particular. Creative response assignments like this prompt can foster student engagement, mitigate student writing anxiety, and deepen student understandings of plays as living documents open to artistic interpretation.

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