Join us for a reading of scenes and a discussion exploring OTHELLO with two of our nations’ finest Shakespearean actors, John Douglas Thompson and Jacob Ming-Trent.

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 5

12:00 – 2:00 PM  |  Student Union Room 180
Admission is Free

John Douglas Thompson

JOHN DOUGLAS THOMPSON (Director) – Broadway: King Lear, Becker in August Wilson’s Jitney. (Tony nomination), A Time To Kill, Cyrano de Bergerac, Julius Caesar. Off-Broadway: Endgame at Irish Rep, The Merchant of Venice at Theatre for a New Audience (TFANA), Hamlet, Julius Caesar at the Joseph Papp Public Theater, The Iceman Cometh at BAM (Obie and Drama Desk Awards); Tamburlaine at TFANA (Obie, Drama Desk and AUDELCO Awards); Satchmo at the Waldorf (Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, and NAACP Awards) at the Westside Theater, King Lear, Macbeth (title role); Othello (Obie Award, Lucille Lortel Award, Joe A. Callaway Award) at TFANA; The Forest at Classic Stage Company; The Emperor Jones at The Irish Repertory Theatre (Joe A. Callaway Award and Lucille Lortel, Drama League and Drama Desk nominations); Hedda Gabler at New York Theatre Workshop. Regional: Inherit The Wind at Pasadena Playhouse, The Tempest at Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, Man In The Ring at Huntington Theater (Elliot Norton Award), Joe Turner’s Come and Gone at Mark Taper Forum (Ovation Award); Hamlet (title role) at ACT, Antony and Cleopatra at Hartford Stage; Red Velvet, Othello, Richard III, King Lear, and Mother Courage at Shakespeare & Co; Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train at The Wilma Theater (Barrymore Award) and productions at the RSC, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Trinity Repertory Company, American Repertory Theater and Yale Repertory Theatre. Television & Film:  The Gilded Age, Mare of Easttown, Till, For Life, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Wolves, Bull, Person of Interest, Madam Secretary, Law & Order, Conviction, 355, Let Them All Talk, Bourne Legacy, Glass Chin, Michael Clayton, Malcolm X.. Mr. Thompson is a Fox Fellow recipient, and has also received the Samuel H. Scripps Award and the Robert Brustein Award for sustained excellence in American theater, the William Shakespeare Award for Classical Theatre, the Eugene O’Neill Medallion Award, and the AAFCA Award for Distinguished Achievement.

Jacob Ming-Trent

JACOB MING-TRENT (Iago)- TV:  White Famous, Showtime (series regular), Watchmen, HBO (series regular). Ray Donovan, Showtime (recurring), Feed the Beast, AMC (recurring).  Only Murders in the Building, WU-TANG: An American Saga; New Amsterdam, God Friended Me, High Maintenance and more.  Film: Superfly, Forty-Year-Old Version, Snakes, R+J, Possession of Hannah Grace, The Bygone, Julie Taymour’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and others. Broadway: Shrek the Musical (original cast), Hands on a Hardbody, (original cast).  Off-Broadway:  The Harder They Come at the Public Theater, (Lucille Lortel Nomination); Falstaff in Merry Wives of Windsor, Shakespeare in the Park (Drama Desk Nomination); Sir Toby Belch in Twelfth Night, Public Theater; Father Comes Home from the Wars, Public Theater, (Lortel Award). Cymbeline, and The Tempest, Public Theater.  Mother Courage, Classic Stage Company.  The Alchemist, and Mammon at Red Bull Theater, (Lortel Nomination).  Merchant of Venice, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Theatre for a New Audience.  Widowers’ Houses, Epic Theater Ensemble.  On the Levee, Lincoln Center Theater.

Nathan Winkelstein

NATHAN WINKELSTEIN (Dramaturg and Text Consultant) is an award-winning director and actor. He serves as the Associate Artistic Director of Red Bull Theater, where he is the Producing Director of The Revelation Reading Series, and the Casting Director and host of “The Red Bull Theater Podcast.” Nathan has acted or directed for numerous companies around the country, including The Alley Theater (Seascape – 8 Houston Press Nominations, 4 wins), Bedlam Theatre Co., Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Shakespeare Theater Company, (Washington D.C.), Lincoln Center Theater, The Folger Theatre, The Theater at Monmouth, American Shakespeare Center, and others. He has taught for Red Bull, Street Theatre Company, Lincoln Center Theater, The Growing Studio, and Maggie Flanigan Studio. Nathan received his BA in Theater from the University at Buffalo and his MFA in Classical Acting from the prestigious Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in the UK. Nathan is a proud member of the Society of Directors and Choreographers and Actors Equity Association.

Please RSVP to the event at: Othello.UTK2024@gmail.com

Othello Development Workshop

Director: John Douglas Thompson

Dramaturg and Text Consultant:  Nathan Winkelstein

Production Management: Jed Diamond

The Cast

Drew Drake
OTHELLO, a noble Moor in the service of the Venetian State

Jacob Ming-Trent
IAGO, a Venetian soldier and Othello’s Ancient (Ensign)

David Brian Alley
BRABANTIO, father to Desdemona and a Venetian Senator
MONTANO, Governer of Cyprus prior to Othello

Sammy Pontello
CASSIO, Othello’s Lieutenant

Clay Cooper
RODERIGO, a Venetian Gentleman
Musician

Tarah Flanagan
DUKE OF VENICE
LODOVICO, a Venetian gentleman and Desdemona’s cousin

Denzel Dejournette
GRATIANO, Brother of Brabantio
SENATOR
GENTLEMAN

Gabriela Bulka
DESDEMONA, Brabantio’s daughter and Othello’s wife

Jaquai Wade Pearson
EMILIA, Iago’s wife

Yashashvi Choudhary
BIANCA, a Courtesan and Cassio’s mistress
SENATOR
GENTLEMAN

Develyn Jayan
SAILOR
GENTLEMAN
CLOWN

Grace Belt
SAILOR
OFFICER
MESSENGER
HERALD
MUSICIAN

David Brian Alley – Audiences may recognize David from his role as Colonel Arbuthnot in Murder on the Orient Express; as Scrooge in CBT’s A Christmas Carol; and as Ed in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. David first became a CBT Company member in the Fall of 2000, performing in The Woman in Black, and has appeared now in over 60 CBT productions including Hamlet; King Charles III; The Santaland Diaries; The 39 Steps; The Trip to Bountiful; Noises Off; Kiss Me, Kate; Fuddy Meers; It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play; Moonlight and Magnolias; The Merry Wives of Windsor; Amadeus; Copenhagen; Major Barbara; A Flea in Her Ear; Stones in His Pockets; ‘ART’; The Rainmaker; and The Glass Menagerie among others. Regional: Playmaker’s Repertory; The Mark Taper Forum; Hollywood Actors’ Theatre; The iO Theatre Chicago; and Chicago TheatreWorks. Film: David recently finished filming a Feature-Length film, Angel of Light, which was shot and produced here in Knoxville, soon to be making the festival rounds. He has also appeared in Light from Light; Something, Anything; Prison Break-In; The Heart is Deceitful; Gina: An Actress, Age 29; Borrowers and Lenders; Killing Steve; and The Sleep Seeker. TV: Women of the Movement (ABC); Snapped; Fatal Attraction; Storm of Suspicion; Vengeance; Unsolved Mysteries; and It’s A Miracle. David is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association and SAG-AFTRA. He is married to his beautiful wife, Jill; is father to his favorite “productions” of all-time, Devin and Caroline; and he plays step-dad to the fabulous Abby and Ethan Flowers! davidbrianalley.com

Grace Belt

Grace Belt – Selected credits include: Laguna Playhouse, Great River Shakespeare Festival, Surflight Theatre, Fiasco Theater, River & Rail, and Clarence Brown Theatre. She is a proud alumni of Fiasco Theater’s Conservatory in NYC. Grace is a first year MFA Actor.

Gabriela Bulka

Gabriela “Gabi” Bulka is a first year MFA Actor at UT. Native to Krakow, Poland she moved to New York City where she trained at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute and received a Two-Year Conservatory Certificate. She is an actor, dancer, movement director and producer. Gabriela holds a Professional Dancer and Choreographer Diploma, as well as a degree in IP Law. Recent credits include: A Christmas Carol (CBT Mrs. Cratchit/Mercy Miggot), Charlie (RJ Theatre Company producer/mov.dir.), Hamlet Split Apart (RJ Theatre Company producer/mov.dir); Short Films: Cortado (producer), Thoughts (Zen), Sloane & Dom (Julianne).

Clay Cooper

Clay Cooper is a first year MFA Actor at UT originally from the small town of Pinehurst, North Carolina. He holds a B.A in Theatre Education from Appalachian State University. Selected credits include: A Christmas Carol (Mr. Fezziwig); Bright Star! (Jimmy Ray); The Moors (The Mastiff); and The {W}right Sister (Orville Wright).

Yashashvi Choudhary

Yashashvi Choudhary is an MFA Actor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She comes from the capital of her country New Delhi, India where she received her B.A. (honors) in English Literature from the University of Delhi. She is honored to start her journey at UT which will help her to grow in understanding global theatre and as an artist.

Denzel Dejournette

Denzel Dejournette has had a unique path to acting that originated in the world of wrestling. He is a division I All-American wrestler and was a wrestler with the WWE. He is now an MFA Actor here at UTK to further the exploration of his passions and tell stories of humanity.

Drew Drake

Drew Drake is an Actor, Poet, Hip Hop Artist, Director and Educator from Huntsville Alabama but currently residing in NYC; focused on creating art that facilitates healthy dialogue for people of color. Drew was last seen performing on TV in Roles such as “Lamar Cordell” in Law and Order Season 22 and stages such as Bonnaroo Music Festival, Barclays Center and Brooklyn Academy of Music’s production Word. Sound. Power. Drew also Directed Marisol by Jose Rivera for NYU Tisch’s MainStage Fall Undergraduate production in December. Drew is the former Poet-In-Residence and teaching artist with Urban Word NYC. Drew also a Professor at New York University (Martin Luther King Scholars Program and Tisch: Playwrights Horizon Theatre Studio), Columbia Law School, as well as teaching African American Theatre at Medgar Evers College. Drew is super thankful to be coming back to Knoxville to return as the Artist in Residence at the University of Tennessee, this Spring Semester.

Tarah Flanagan

Tarah Flanagan is delighted to return to the Clarence Brown Theatre having previously appeared in the CBT production of The Madwoman of Chaillot, staring the incomparable Carol Mayo Jenkins. New York Theatre: The Sheen Center, The Mint Theatre, and the Pearl Theatre with Hang a Tale Productios (titular role of The Little Prince, directed by Kim Martin-Cotten). Regional Theatre: Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, Alabama Shakespeare Fest (world premier of Buzz, directed by Carrie Preston) Arkansas Rep. Theatre, Cleveland Play House (Every Brilliant Thing, An Iliad), Cincinnati Playhouse, Crossroads Theatre, Eugene O’Neil Theatre, Fulton Theatre, Gulfshore Playhouse, Pacific Conservatory Theatre, Pioneer Theatre, Public Theatre of Maine, Shakespeare Theatre of NJ, Studio Arena Theatre, Utah Shakespeare Fest., and the Rep.Theatre of St. Louis (titular role in St. Joan). TV/Film: Ramy, directed by Ramy Youssef (Hulu). As the World Turns (CBS), Futurestates (PBS), Mother’s Book, directed by Keith Joseph Atkins, and Darwin: the Series, directed by Carrie Preston. Tarah has been a company member of the Great River Shakespeare Festival since 2007, and is a graduate of Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts, Webster University (BFA) and the U.of Alabama-Alabama Shakespeare Festival (MFA). She is a proud member of AEA and SDC.

Develyn Jayan

Develyn Jayan is a first-year MFA acting candidate. She is a professional Indian dancer trained in Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, Kathak and Mohiniyattam who made her American theatre debut as the Ghost of Christmas Past in A Christmas Carol 2023. Having been dedicated to a life on stage through various plays, dance-dramas and street plays in India, she is here to make American professional theatre her next home.

Jaquai Wade Pearson

Jaquai Wade Pearson hails from Detroit where she began her wonderful journey in theatre at Cass Tech under the tutelage of Marilyn McCormick, recipient of the 2016 Excellence in Theatre Education Award, presented by the Tony Awards and Carnegie Mellon University. Jaquai earned a BFA in Theatre (Acting Track) from Meadows School of Arts at Southern Methodist University. She has over 20 years of professional stage experience, 5 years as a certified teacher of Theatre Arts and is now expanding her pursuits in TV, Film, and Stand-Up Comedy. She has performed at Arlington Improv in Texas and the Laugh Factory in LA, among other venues. Some of her most fulfilling stage credits include The Mountain Top (Camae) and Fat Ham (Tedra) with River & Rail Theatre Co., Romeo & Juliet (Nurse/Lady Montague) with Fair Assembly, and The Royale (Nina) with Kitchen Dog Theatre.

Sammy Pontello

Sammy Pontello is a first year MFA Actor at UT. Originally from Central Florida, they spent the last two seasons working with Florida Studio Theatre touring in TYA around the state, teaching acting and playwrighting, and working as an actor, director, and dramaturg in New Play Development. Prior to FST, Sammy also worked at the Orlando Shakes in New Play Development. He is thrilled to be a part of the Clarence Brown Theatre community.

Sponsored by

Division of Access and Engagement

DEPARTMENT OF THEATRE

Special thanks:

Dr. Tyvi Small, Vice Chancellor for Access and Engagement
Ken Martin, Chair, Department of Theatre & Artistic Director, Clarence Brown Theatre
Tom Cervone, Managing Director, Clarence Brown Theatre
Katie Cunningham, Head of Acting, Department of Theatre
Sonja Renee Jackson
La Tisa Bright
Tasha Yvette Herrell
Julie Summers
Emily Pope
Tara Halstead
Le Anna Jacobson
Phyllis Belanger