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July 2014 at Cornell Plantations

Ithaca Shakespeare Company Presents Othello and Much Ado About Nothing at Cornell Plantations This Summer

June 17, 2013 (Ithaca, NY) — The Ithaca Shakespeare Company's 2013 summer season at Cornell Plantations features two of Shakespeare's greatest works, a comedy and a tragedy that both focus on the nature and consequences of jealousy.

The ISC will present Much Ado About Nothing on July 11-14 and 18-21, 2013, and Othello on July 25-28 and August 1-3, 2013. All performances will be at 6 pm in the F.R. Newman Arboretum at Cornell Plantations.

Both plays are built around a similar plot structure, in which one man convinces another man that the woman he loves has been unfaithful to him. The situations play out very differently in the two plays, but, as always with Shakespeare, both plays explore a wide range of moods and emotions. "Othello may be the most emotionally intense of all of Shakespeare's plays," says ISC Artistic Director Stephen Ponton, "but there is also tenderness and humor — sometimes bordering on the absurd — and some very sharp social commentary regarding race, class, and gender relations. Much Ado is a romantic comedy known for the witty verbal war between Beatrice and Benedick and the hilarious ineptitude of Dogberry and his crew, but there are also some truly wrenching emotional moments that give it depth and richness."

This summer's production of Othello will feature Ithaca- and New York City-based actor Godfrey L. Simmons, Jr., in the title role. Mr. Simmons' extensive list of stage and screen credits includes work with the Obie Award-winning Epic Theatre Ensemble in New York City, Syracuse Stage, Playwrights Horizons, and others. He is a 2012 recipient of a TCG Fox Foundation Fellowship for Distinguished Achievement and was a Resident Professional Teaching Associate at Cornell University's Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts from 2003-2005.

This production of Othello will complete a multi-year cycle of Shakespeare's four major tragedies by the ISC. The Company produced Hamlet in 2007, King Lear in 2008, and Macbeth in 2010.

ISC productions feature local and regional theatre artists, community members, and students, faculty, and staff from Ithaca College, Cornell, and other area schools working together to make exciting, high-quality classical theatre available to everyone. The ISC approach to Shakespeare combines careful attention to the details of language and character with a strong component of physical action. ISC summer productions have drawn approximately 4,000 visitors in recent years from throughout the region, across New York State, and from 21 other states and 8 foreign countries.

General admission is Pay What You Can at all Thursday performances and $10 per person on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. A limited amount of reserved seating is available for all performances. Advance tickets and reserved seating may be purchased on the ISC website at General admission tickets may also be purchased at the entrance.

For more information, visit the Ithaca Shakespeare Company's website at

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