This weekend, the University’s straight play theatre group Rude Mechanicals will open its fall play in the Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre with an adaption of Shakespeare’s tragedy “Othello.”

Rather than performing the play in its traditional 17th-century setting, LSA junior and “Othello” director Clare Brennan hopes to emphasize the play’s dynamic characters by creating a more modern background to deemphasize the distraction of a historical setting.

Brennan said the modernized setting makes the play’s symbolism and themes more visible.

“We’re creating our own world where it exists,” she said. “I’ve put myself into it and dug really deep into the themes of the show and how they wrap themselves in there.”

The Shakespearean tragedy examines the destructive nature of jealousy and suspicion through its main character, Othello, a Moorish general in Venice, as his deceitful relationship with Iago, an envious solider and rival, ruins both his life and marriage.

After Othello promotes another soldier over Iago, the villain maliciously plots against Othello, poisoning his military career and planting suspicions of infidelity into his marriage.

“This play really stuck out as something that connected to me as a student and as a young person,” Brennan said. “Especially the way it wraps up in the end, it very much is left hanging. A lot of it is very much in the audience’s hands to decipher and figure out after they leave.”

Brennan said she thinks the play’s themes of jealousy and betrayal as well as the conflict of love versus lust will resonate with students.

“It is really a play that asks us a lot of direct questions about instances in your life,” Brennan said. “We’ve all been through something like this and it kind of puts it on us a little bit.”

In addition to performing a Shakespearean play in the fall, Rude Mechanicals will perform a contemporary piece during winter semester. The theatre group has yet to choose next semester’s play.

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