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The Story Of Groundbreaking Actor Ira Aldridge, Onstage In Lenox17:44
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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.

In 1833, Ira Aldridge made history, becoming the first African-American to play Othello on the London stage. But, his run lasted only two nights. The play, "Red Velvet," tells his story.

"Red Velvet" runs through September 13 at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox. 

Guests

Lolita Chakrabarti, London-based actress, writer and producer who wrote the play "Red Velvet." She tweets @Lolitachakra.

John Douglas Thompson, OBIE Award-winning actor who plays Ira Aldridge in "Red Velvet."

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The ARTery: ‘Red Velvet’ Pulls Ira Aldridge’s Story From Obscurity With Shakespeare & Company

  • "'Red Velvet' begins near the end of Aldridge’s life, as he prepares to go on as King Lear in Lodz, Poland, in 1867. Ill but unbowed, he is winding down a distinguished career spent touring Northern and Eastern Europe in all the most mammoth Shakespearean roles. Along the way, he has been honored by royalty, cut a womanizing swath and grown more than a little authoritative. But it turns out he was always somewhat full of himself, his talent matched by his ferocious surety."

This segment aired on September 1, 2015.

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