The World's a Stage: Becoming Othello, A Black Girl's Journey

Written & Performed by Debra Ann Byrd

Directed by Tina Packer

Center Theatre at Seattle Center

January 3, 2023


January 29, 2023

From her ancestral lineage to her arrival at a metaphorical crossroad, Debra Ann Byrd presents a tour-de-force journey of living memoir in The World’s a Stage: Becoming Othello, A Black Girl’s Journey. This autobiographical solo show chronicles the trials and triumphs of Byrd’s life: her joy-filled and tumultuous youth growing up in Harlem, her experiences in foster care, her growth as a pregnant teen and single parent, her fateful encounter with a troupe of Shakespearean actors, navigating race and the classics, and ultimately her gender-flipped journey to playing Othello.

Interspersed with verses from Othello and dynamic multimedia elements, Byrd bares her soul in this vulnerable, personal, and resonant story of perseverance, discovery, and unconditional love.Directed by Shakespeare & Company founder Tina Packer and written by and starring the Founding Artistic Director of the Harlem Shakespeare Festival and Artistic Director at Southwest Shakespeare Company Debra Ann Byrd, Becoming Othello “is gripping, realistic, theatrical, and dynamic” (The Berkshire Edge) and an integral addition to our season.

Run Time: The run time for this show is 1 hour and 45 minutes with no intermission.

Content Advisories: This show is based on Byrd’s real-life experiences, and includes content that may be distressing. Below are some particular warnings, but if you have any further questions, please email and we’ll be happy to provide additional information. This show contains: personal stories of rape (description of sexual assault by multiple people), abuse, trauma, addiction/alcoholism, suicidal ideation, genetic heritage

Production Photos

Photos by Robert Wade Photography.