Writer and director Carrie Vargas instructs performers and production team members at a rehearsal for the Maricopa Community Theater presentation of "Passing Strange." From left: Mario Bandin, Aleyna Call (seated in background), Brittany Ames, Jerrt Allen, Ivie Keene (stage manager) and Carrie Vargas (writer/director). Photo by R. Mason Callejas

By R. Mason Callejas

This October under the direction of Carrie Vargas the Maricopa Community Theater is presenting “Passing Strange,” an original adaptation of William Shakespeare’s “Othello.”

In the more than 400 years since its inception, Shakespeare’s tale of the Moor of Venice has been reproduced in more than 12 languages for stages and screens around the globe. Considered by many to be one of the most influential of Elizabethan tragedies, the play has undergone many adaptations since its creation in an attempt to perpetuate its themes of love and jealousy.

As both writer and director Vargas amalgamates classic themes of envy and betrayal with modernity, politics and race to introduce a fresh arrangement of the timeless follies of human nature.

“This production will be a world premiere,” Vargas said. “The play utilizes technology from news reports, to text messaging and FaceTime to weave the tale of manipulation, love, deception and the race for the White House.”

Stars of the play are Jerry Allen as General Edward Morrison, Brittany Ames as Camilla Brabantio-Morrison, Mario Bandin as Michael Cassio, Aleyna Call as Emily Barrett and Ashley Riecken as Talon Barrett.

Performers Ashley Riecken and Matthew Call rehearse for the Maricopa Community Theater's October presentation of "Passing Strange", an original adaption of Shakespeare's Othello. Photo by R. Mason Callejas
Performers Ashley Riecken and Matthew Call rehearse for the Maricopa Community Theater’s October presentation of “Passing Strange”, an original adaption of Shakespeare’s Othello. Photo by R. Mason Callejas

Other players are May McCarthy, David Vargas, Maria Santillan, Matthew Call, Brian Holman, Simon Crawford, Britney Montgomery, Kylie Nolan, Precious Suares, Kylee Tetzloff and Katie Campbell.

“Passing Strange” will be performed at the Maricopa High School Lecture Hall Oct. 27-28 at 7 p.m., and Oct. 29 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets are available in advance for $10 and at the door for $15. A student-only preview will be presented Oct. 26 at 7 p.m. Students with a current, valid student ID will be able to see the production for $5 on Oct. 26 only.

Also in October, Maricopa Community Theater’s teen troupe is producing yet another witty English classic – Oscar Wilde’s “An Ideal Husband.”

The play stars Dylan Stradling, Ashley Lynn, Elizabeth Prentice and Lawrence Valdivia.

Other players include Joycelyn Cabrera, Ashley Riecken, Rain Bovey, Maria Santillan, Simon Crawford, and Ethan Stradling.

“An Ideal Husband” is scheduled for performance at the Maricopa High School’s Lecture Hall Oct. 13-14 at 7 p.m., and Oct. 15 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.


MaricopaCommunityTheatre.org for tickets