Becoming Othello: A Black Girl's Journey
Written & Performed by Debra Ann Byrd
Directed by Tina Packer
A living memoir, BECOMING OTHELLO: A Black Girl’s Journey is a theatrical production with lyrical language, soulful songs and the music that shaped the life of a resilient little girl growing up in Spanish Harlem. This one-woman theatrical drama chronicles the life of classical actress, Debra Ann Byrd.
The solo show flows from Debra Ann’s recounting of her ancestral lineage to her arrival at a crossroad in life, while taking us through her joy-filled and tumultuous youth; a fateful encounter with a company of Shakespearean actors and her remarkable, gender-flipped journey on the road to becoming Othello. We share in Debra Ann’s struggle with self-esteem and how, against all odds, she manages to make it through foster care, teenage pregnancy and single parenting, to become the person she always dreamed she could be. It is a deeply personal, poignant and powerful story of perseverance, tragedy, triumph and ultimately, unconditional love.
Originally produced at Shakespeare & Company