ABOUT THE PROJECT Classical actress and producer Debra Ann Byrd undertook a re- markable journey to take on the role of Othello — which she first performed in her native Harlem. The actress recently recorded her experiences on becoming ‘The Moor of Venice’ as writer-in- residence at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. 

Inspired in 2000, by actor Charles Dutton when he performed at the Playing Shakespeare workshop with John Barton, Debra Ann dreamed that she too would one day play the role of Othello. — Roll on 15 years and she finally got her wish.

Now Southwest Shakespeare Company, the Birthplace Trust and the University of Warwick together with Misfit, Inc., the Folger Institute, Columbia University and the Harlem Shakespeare Festival are working together to sponsor Debra Ann’s planned three- year writing project. The international project comprises a documentary feature film, a solo show and a small volume memoir which includes research from the Birthplace Trust, the Folger Shakespeare Library and Columbia University Archives. 

BECOMING OTHELLO: A Black Girl’s Journey is a 90 minute, 5-Act, living memoir about a young wom- an’s trials and triumphs with race and the classics, her memorable experiences growing up in East Harlem and her gender flipped journey on the road to becoming Shakespeare’s noble, flawed general. The solo show is complete with moving songs and lyrical language from Black women playwrights, William Shakespeare, Langston Hughes, Martin Luther King, Jr., Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman and the King James Bible.


Phoenix Art Museum

1625 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix, AZ

(602) 257-1880


Saturday, Feb 22 @2pm

Thursday, Feb 27 @7pm

Friday, March 27 @7pm

Sunday, March 29 @2pm

Tickets available here: https://tickets.phxart.org/shows/becoming%20othello-%20a%20black%20girl’s%20journey/events/2