This month, we chat with Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s Rick Boynton and The Q Brothers, JQ and GQ, about 2015 Festival Show Othello: The Remix, written by the Q Brothers and developed with Boynton. Othello: The Remix, which received a Writers Residency Grant at CST, is heading back to Chicago for a production this spring.
What has the post-Festival response for Othello: The Remix been like?
Rick Boynton: We had a terrific response to the presentation and are in talks with both commercial and not-for-profit producers. We are producing the show this spring at Chicago Shakespeare Theater and look forward to continuing those conversations.
Q Brothers: It’s been great. We have a lot of new fans because of it. The opportunities are still unfolding, and theater always takes time, so we’ll see!
Rick, what did you and the Q Brothers discover about the show after presenting it to the industry in October?
RB: We were thrilled that the power of the storytelling resonated across a broad band of our membership. And certainly making the 45-minute cut provides a fresh perspective for any writing process and provided some discoveries in next steps we would like to take in its development.
Othello: The Remix was originally commissioned by CST; what does the partnership between CST and the Q Brothers look like for this production?
RB: We commissioned Othello: The Remix and hold the rights at this point. I have worked closely with the Qs on several projects developing their work. As we have toured the world with Othello: The Remix, I have watched the show grow richer and stronger. It has been awesome to watch audiences from England to Korea to Australia to Poland respond so enthusiastically to the energy of the show and the power of the storytelling. We are excited to bring all that energy back to Chicago for a second run here at CST.
The show has received a lot of developmental opportunities and awards, and with this production it’s going to be a part of CST’s Shakespeare 400 celebration—what are you hoping is next for Othello: The Remix?
RB: We look forward to future productions and its continued development. We hope to bring it to NY soon and are excited for the show to be licensed subsequently.
Why should people make their way to Chicago in the spring to see this award-winning production?
RB: It is a fast, funny, surprising and moving musical that brings the power of hip hop to one of the world’s greatest playwright’s most famous stories. For our last run here, many audience members came back two and three times to see the show; the response was so powerful that we had no choice but to bring it back. Already tickets are selling quickly and the advertising campaign hasn’t even begun. You won’t want to miss it.
Still need convincing? The Q Brothers told us why they think folks should see the show in their signature style.
Q Brothers are from Chicago and there ain’t no stoppin us/
Why come see Othello The Remix there? Ain’t that obvious?/
No need for us to drag you there by your dang earlobes/
This the piece that blew the roof off o’ Shakespeare’s Globe!/
Well, actually… there is no roof on The Globe, but you get the gist… 🙂
Visit Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s website for more information about their upcoming production of Othello: The Remix.