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Elizabeth Wislar – Othello


    From Tara Moses’ Adaptation

    TIME: The year is 2176 just after the final battle in the War of Restoration to disestablish the United
    States and restore full sovereignty to Native Nations.

    PLACE: Fully restored Indian Territory

    This production is a RARE vision and celebration of Indigenous Futurism aligned with Black Liberation.

    Tara spoke a bold dream into reality and then used the plot of Othello to explore the imperfections of racial realities, and the historical/ongoing threats to Indigenous women. Tara lead the entire process with what she called Creative Sovereignty.

    Each cast member and I spoke in depth about their own personal identities, tribal affiliations or racial heritage, and how they saw their characters dressed in the year 2176. Many of the choices were made together and I was able to infuse their clothing with silhouettes, symbols, and significance from their own cultural and gendered identities.

    This production was RARE because no new materials were used. All costume pieces, and the renderings, were made from found/sourced items. Everything we need already exists. We must learn to work in regenerative (rather than extractive) ways if we are to honor the future generations, as well as the land, the air, and the water we share with our plant and animal cousins.

    The script was infused with Native American references, language, and perspectives. The female characters were strengthened, and the violence was minimized, as a way of honoring a belief that there will be less violence in the future. Red fabric ribbons were used for blood when three flesh wounds occurred. For the three deaths, shimmering scarves pulled from the costumes, nodded to the Lakota and Cherokee practice of prayer ties.

    Production Credits

    South Dakota Shakespeare Festival

    Adaptation of William Shakespeare by Tara Moses – citizen of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma

    Director – Tara Moses

    Scene Design and Props Artisan – Jill Clark
    Lighting Design – Brian Adams
    Sound Technician – Brian Adams
    Costume Creator – Elizabeth Wislar
    Sound Design
    – Tara Moses

    Assistant Costume Design – Drake Wislar

    Tech Director – Brian Smallwood
    Stage Manager – Mickey Morstad

    Actors featured in Photos

    Cody Floyd
    Xáalnook Erin Tripp
    Chingwe Padraig Sullivan
    Kenny Ramos
    Joe Stollenwerk
    Marquise Howard
    Chaya Gordon
    Lucy Graff
    Grace Pauline
    Christian Sage

    Photographer – Aaron Packard