By Tim Leeds
Montana Actors Theatre is starting a rotation production of plays this week, with one Shakespearian work and one inspired by Shakespeare's work.
The plays are Skakespeare's "Othello" and "Ronsencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead," by Tom Stoppard, starting with "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern" on Wednesday. The plays will alternate each day through Saturday, and again the next week starting with "Othello" on Feb. 20.
Curtis Reddoor, who is directing "Othello," said the casts have been rehearsing for about 2 months. Most rehearsals include both plays.
There are 13 cast members in the Stoppard work, with Donald Mayer playing Guildenstern and Grant Olson as Rosencrantz. Sam Stuart is directing the production. The play, described by Reddoor as a dark or black comedy, takes up the story of two minor characters after their scene in Shakespeare's "Hamlet" ends.
"They're not certain what they're doing, or why, or in reality which is which," Reddoor said.
"Othello" tells of the plot of Iago to trick his commander, the Moor Othello, into killing Othello's wife after he passes Iago over for promotion. The MAT production has a cast of 15, led by Reddoor as Othello, Jay Pyette as Iago, and Jenny Gerky as Othello's wife, Desdemona.
The plays will be shown in the Montana State University-Northern Little Theatre, starting at 8 p.m. "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern" will be shown Wednesday, Friday, Feb. 21 and Feb. 23. "Othello" will be produced on Thursday, Saturday, Feb. 20 and Feb. 22.
Tickets, costing $7 for adults and $5 for children and seniors, are available at Creative Leisure, Mel's Foods, the Northern bookstore and at the door.