Spreading the Bard

Kia Mistilis for TIME

Gentle means Teachers from remote communities workshop a scene in Sydney

When actor Marcus Graham gambols into the rehearsal space, an old warehouse in Sydney's historic Rocks, he is unprepared for twelve new sets of eyes that follow his every move. "Did we sell tickets this morning?" he asks of his impromptu audience. It's 12 days until the Bell Shakespeare Company's first production of Othello opens, and before Graham has time to blow his nose, director Marion Potts throws her Iago into duplicitous action. Act 2, Scene 1, and Othello's back-stabbing ensign has arrived in Cyprus, along with the Venetian Moor's wife Desdemona and her attendant Emilia, Iago's wife, with...

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