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American Moor


Keith Hamilton Cobb’s explosive American Moor will play a 4-week run beginning July 19 at Boston Center for the Arts as a co-production with New York's Phoenix Theatre Ensemble.

Keith Hamilton Cobb is best known to the general public for his television work in daytime dramas (All My Children, The Young and the Restless, etc.) and Gene Rodenberry’s Andromeda, but he has always been at heart a classical stage actor and has an impressive resume to back him up. This love for the theatre brought him to develop a remarkable and controversial work that takes the audience into a sanctified and often secretive place – the audition room. The production will be directed by Kim Wield.

Funny, ironic and deeply moving, American Moor explores the process of auditioning for the role of Othello. An audition process that invariably ends up with a large black man on stage responding to white middle-aged decision makers who portend to understand how a charismatic, intelligent, black man should react in an alien society.

The script was honored by being inducted in the permanent collection of The Folger Shakespeare Library. Michael Witmore, Director of the Library, stated “Keith Hamilton Cobb’s American Moor is incredible…I have spent my life thinking about Shakespeare, but that did not prepare me for the depth of thinking and feeling that his performance provoked.” The Phoenix Theatre Ensemble’s 2015 production was awarded an Audelco Award for Outstanding Solo Performance.

Craig Smith, PTE Producing Artistic Director, says “American Moor is greatly entertaining and at the same time asks questions that need to be asked. Our national theatre community prides itself on progressiveness and open expression. But are we really? Is there a patronizing quality to our approach that is similar to what happens in the play of Othello itself? We are thrilled to be working with OWI (Bureau of Theatre) to bring this remarkable play to the people of Boston.”

Keith Hamilton Cobb is interviewed by Barbara Bogaev for the Folger Shakespeare Library