Shakespeare’s Othello comes to region - American Shakespeare Center makes a virtual visit in February

January 29, 2021

Live stream Othello from February 18—24. Get your free streaming code and link to watch by visiting You can stream the performance on any device that has a web browser and Pro-Art staff will be glad to troubleshoot if viewers need technical assistance. This event will count as a cultural credit activity for UVA Wise students.

Envious machinations and evil intentions take hold in American Shakespeare Center’s Othello, streaming from February 18—24 via the Pro-Art Association. The show is shot in 4-camera cinema-quality and presented live from the stage of the Blackfriars Playhouse.

Directed by celebrated ASC Artistic Director Ethan McSweeny, this stunningly relevant production of Shakespeare’s tragedy of racism and jealousy promises to bring audiences to the edge of their seats. Acclaimed actress Jessika D. Williams, who has won a cult following from her appearance on the popular television series Doctor Who, appears in the title role of Othello. Opposite Williams is veteran actor-manager John Harrell as the malevolent Iago. It’s a struggle between good and evil when these two titanic talents square off.

As part of American Shakespeare Center’s SafeStart Season the company is offering audiences multiple ways to enjoy performances. “More than anything, the season is about offering audiences the vital connection they get from live performance. From the outset, we recognized that an important part of doing that in these conditions was meeting people where they were, and where they could feel safe,” says Artistic Director Ethan McSweeny, “Since not everyone will want — or be able — to visit us in person, through BlkFrs LIVE we are bringing the Playhouse experience to them.”

BlkFrs LIVE offers Wise, Lee, and Dickenson County audiences along with those of the wider region a free, asynchronous viewing of ASC’s new production of Othello through partnership with Pro-Art. The production was filmed on the world’s only re-creation of Shakespeare’s indoor stage in Staunton, VA—making it possible for people to experience the joy of Shakespeare in performance and the magic of the Blackfriars Playhouse from far away.

The Pro-Art Association is offering this performance, and all events of their 2020-2021 season, at no cost to you. This production is supported in part by a grant from the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. If you have any questions, or would like updates in regards to performance modifications, please visit, call the office at (276) 376-4520, or send an email to