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Play Tells Story Of Groundbreaking Actor Ira Aldridge10:57
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John Douglas Thompson as Ira Aldridge and Christianna Nelson as Halina Wozniak in Shakespeare & Company’s “Red Velvet.” (Enrico Spada)
John Douglas Thompson as Ira Aldridge and Christianna Nelson as Halina Wozniak in Shakespeare & Company’s “Red Velvet.” (Enrico Spada)
This article is more than 5 years old.

Ira Aldridge played "Othello" on the London stage back in 1833, just for two nights. He was the first African-American to play the role on the London stage, and he appeared at a time when Britain was deciding whether to abolish slavery. The play "Red Velvet" tells Aldridge's story.

Here & Now's Meghna Chakrabarti speaks with the playwright, Lolita Chakrabarti, and actor John Douglas Thompson, who plays Ira Aldridge in the first American production of the play, by Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, Massachusetts.

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This segment aired on September 15, 2015.

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