Red Shirt Entertainment Presents “Othello: The Panther” at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe

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New show inspired by Shakespeare’s Othello to take place at historical East Village venue.

Othello: The Panther adheres to Shakespeare's vision, but we've added elements that will appeal to history buffs, pop culture aficionados and many other theatergoers.

Red Shirt Entertainment is announcing the world premiere of Othello: The Panther, an adaptation of Shakespeare’s play that chronicles the final years of the Black Panther party movement. The project is Red Shirt’s second main stage production of the season. It will premiere on Saturday, February 1 at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in New York City’s East Village and run through Sunday, February 23.

Set in 1982 Oakland, Othello: The Panther follows the re-interpreted character of Othello and the events that led to the downfall of the Black Panthers. Themes such as race, politics, power and fear, which are highlighted throughout Othello, closely align with the principles the Black Panthers were thought to be founded on and the impression that most of the general public had of the group.

“History has offered a distorted view of the Black Panther movement,” said Red Shirt Entertainment Producing Artistic Director Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj. “Most of the general public believes that the party’s goal was to spread hate and violence. This couldn’t be any further from the truth. It was actually dedicated to fostering progressive social change. Othello: The Panther adheres to Shakespeare’s vision, but we’ve added elements that will appeal to history buffs, pop culture aficionados and many other theatergoers.”

The play’s themes of diversity, community and activism deeply resonate with the mission and history of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. Red Shirt Entertainment’s year-long partnership with the venue began in autumn 2013, with the premiere of Defacing Michael Jackson and the second season of The Remembrance Project.

“The Cafe is thrilled to be hosting this project,” said Nuyorican Poets Cafe Executive Director Daniel Gallant. “As has been the case with Red Shirt’s previous work, Othello: The Panther approaches social commentary in a unique and compelling manner that we value here at the Cafe.”

The production is directed by Maharaj; he and Jonas Goslow adapted Shakespeare’s play. The cast consists of over 30 actors.

“At Red Shirt we try to incorporate multiple layers into the work we present,” said Red Shirt Entertainment Executive Producer Frank O’Brien. “Our hope is that the play will ultimately encourage further conversation about the various social issues highlighted in the content.”

Performance Dates:
Saturday, February 1, 2014 – 6pm
Sunday, February 2, 2014 – 6pm
Thursday, February 6, 2014 – 7pm
Friday, February 7, 2014 – 7pm
Saturday, February 8, 2014 – 6pm
Sunday, February 9, 2014 – 6pm
Thursday, February 13, 2014 – 7pm
Friday, February 14, 2014 – 7pm
Saturday, February 15, 2014 – 6pm
Sunday, February 16, 2014 – 6pm
Thursday, February 20, 2014 – 7pm
Friday, February 21, 2014 – 7pm
Saturday, February 22, 2014 – 7pm
Sunday, February 23, 2014 – 2pm

Ticket Prices: $25 online, $30 at the door

Ticket Link:

Phone number: 212-389-9782

Directions to the Nuyorican Poets Cafe:

By subway, take the F train to the "2nd Avenue" stop.
From the station, take the "1st Avenue & Houston Street" exit and walk north on 1st Avenue away from Houston Street. Make a right on East 3rd Street and walk 2 and a half blocks until you reach #236. Click here for a subway map.

By bus, take the M14A to Avenue A and 3rd Street or the M15 to 2nd Avenue and 3rd Street and walk east.

By car, take the FDR Drive to the Houston Street exit.
From Houston Street, make a right on Avenue C and then a left on East 3rd Street.

Directed by: Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj

Written/Adapted by: Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj and Jonas Goslow

Please visit for additional information about the show.

About Red Shirt Entertainment
Red Shirt Entertainment is bridging the gap between the business and creative industries. Founded in 2011, Red Shirt’s vision is to encompass the interests of all persons involved in entertainment, from the established to the aspiring.

About the Nuyorican Poets Cafe
Over the last 40 years, the Nuyorican Poets Cafe has served as a home for groundbreaking works of poetry, music, theater and visual arts. A multicultural and multi-arts institution, the Cafe gives voice to a diverse group of rising poets, actors, filmmakers and musicians who have not yet found consistent havens for their work. The Cafe champions the use of poetry, jazz, theater, hip hop and spoken word as means of social empowerment for minority and underprivileged artists. Our community of spectators, artists and students is a reflection of New York City's diverse population; Allen Ginsberg called the Cafe "the most integrated place on the planet.”

For more information, please contact:
Frank Riolo
Manager, Corporate Communications
Conversation, LLC

Daniel Gallant
Executive Director
Nuyorican Poets Cafe

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Frank Riolo
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