the Burbage Theatre Company presents Paula Vogel’s “Desdemona” A Play About A Handkerchief

Burbage Theatre Company opens their sixth season with ‘Desdemona: a play about a handkerchief’ a feminist retelling of William Shakespeare’s‘Othello’ by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Paula Vogel, directed by Allison Crews, which opens previews Friday September 16.

Desdemona: a play about a handkerchief runs September 16 – October 15 at Aurora Providence, 276 Westminster Street, Providence RI. Tickets are $10-$20. Visit or contact  for reservations and more info.

by Paula Vogel
directed by Allison Crews”Being a feminist means looking at things that disturb me, looking at things that hurt me as a woman. We live in a misogynist world, and I want to see why…”
-Paula Vogel

As the wrongly accused and suffering wife of Shakespeare’s tragic Moor, Othello, Desdemona has long been viewed as the “victim of circumstance.” But as Pulitzer Prize-winner Paula Vogel demonstrates in her comic deconstruction of Shakespeare’s play—aligning tongue-in-cheek humor while raising serious questions as to the role of women through the ages—Desdemona was far from the quivering naïf we’ve all come to know.

“Vogel remains one of the smartest, most original and engaging playwrights to come along…”
—NY Newsday

“Irreverence in the theatre is essential to its perpetuation as a relevant art-form,” says Artistic Director Jeff Church, “and Paula Vogel’s richly dark and comic feminist masterpiece is as irreverent as it gets. Not only does she impiously reimagine the work of William Shakespeare, Vogel shakes a stick at male-dominated society through ‘Othello’, a play in which women are subject to the murderous whims of their husbands. She examines what liberation means and where it can be found when men hold the reigns, a theme that is palpably resonant today.”


Ensemble –
Valerie Westgate, Desdemona
Christin Goff, Emilia
Rachael Perry, Bianca

Creative Team-
Allison Crews, director
Rachel Lewallen, stage manager
Liz Hallenbeck, production assistant
Sharon Carpentier, costume design

Andrew Iacovelli, technical director
Trevor Elliot, scenic design, properties designer

‘Desdemona: a play about a handkerchief’ by Paula Vogel
Friday Sept 16 7pm Preview #1
Saturday Sept 17 6pm Preview #2
Friday Sept 23 7pm Pay-What-You-Can
Saturday Sept 24 6pm OPENING NIGHTFriday Sept 30 7pm Performance #1
Saturday Oct 1 6pm Performance #2
Friday Oct 7 7pm Performance #3
Saturday Oct 8 6pm Performance #4
Friday Oct 14 7pm Performance #5
Saturday Oct 15 6pm Performance #6
Rhode Island College STUDENTS $10Contact: (reservations),, (Artistic Director, Jeff Church), (Executive Director, Allison Crews), (Aurora liason, Jenny Young)

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Founded in 2010, Burbage is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization committed to excite and engage a new generation of theatre-goer with socially relevant and compelling stories, both classic and contemporary, told by an inventive and expert ensemble of actors.

We believe in the importance of irreverence. We believe that acting comes first. We believe the theatre’s continued relevance as a civil institution is best perpetuated by building productions and their aesthetic around the collaboration of an expert ensemble of storytellers. We believe it is the actor’s job to activate thought and inner movement in his audience.

In collaboration with Aurora, Burbage’s theatrical residence in downtown Providence, Burbage is dedicated to the growing and cultivating of the diverse artistic community in Rhode Island by providing affordable access to the performing arts and perpetuating a discourse about, not only content, but the actor’s role as storyteller in today’s world. Burbage is an ideal sustainable arts model for the 21st Century.