Performing Arts

Montford Park Players and Different Strokes!

Montford Park Players and Different Strokes! Performing Arts Collective Present Othello

For its final show of the year, Different Strokes! Performing Arts Collective is teaming up with the Montford Park Players (MPP) to present Shakespeare’s Othello at the BeBe Theatre. While the play is far from contemporary—the first performance of Othello was in 1604—it provides a platform for a discussion of gender prejudice, an issue still relevant in 2017. In keeping with this theme, the role of Othello will be played by a woman: Stephanie Hickling Beckman, Different Strokes! artistic director. “There are so few great roles out there for women,” Hickling Beckman says. “As a female actor, it’s an honor to have the opportunity to play a female lead who is not defined, or in some way weakened, by her gender—even, and especially, if the part was written as a male character.”

Hickling Beckman will be joined on stage by a cast of MPP and Different Strokes! actors and actresses, including Ian Patrick Mendes, Trinity Smith Keel, Devyn Ray, Jon Stockdale, Jason Williams, Phillipe Coquet, John Mendenhall, Sonia D’Andrea and Daniel Henry. The performance will be directed by MPP’s artistic director Scott Keel and assistant director Nathan Singer.

The show will run from Friday, November 3, until Saturday, November 18, with showings at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons at 2:30 p.m. Othello is free to attend, in keeping with MPP’s free Shakespeare model, but donations will be accepted and reservations are recommended.

The BeBe Theatre is located at 20 Commerce Street in downtown Asheville. For more information or to reserve a seat, visit

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