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Play by dramatic arts professor premieres Nov.30 in New York (Released: 11/22/95)

by Sherry Fisher, Office of University Communications.

NEW YORK CITY -- A new play written jointly by a professor of dramatic arts at the University of Connecticut and a professor of English at Eastern Connecticut State University will premiere Nov. 30 at the Frank Silvera Writers' Workshop here.

Fortunes of the Moor, written by husband and wife Barbara and Carlton Molette, runs through Dec. 17. The drama plays Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., with Sunday matinees at 4 p.m.

Barbara Molette is an English professor at Eastern Connecticut State University. Carlton is a UConn professor of dramatic arts and senior fellow of the Institute of African-American Studies.

Directed by Charles E. Wise, the play explores the proposition that William Shakespeare's character, Othello, and his murdered wife, Desdemona, secretly gave birth to a boy, who survived their deaths. Desdemona's powerful Venetian family consequently becomes embroiled in a custody struggle with the African-born Othello's noble Moorish family.

The intrigue of the power and money-hungry relatives of Desdemona's father increases to dangerous levels of conspiracy and a scheme of kidnapping and murder.

Described by New York Times critic Mel Gussow as a sequel to Othello, Fortunes of the Moor opens with a cast of Actors' Equity approved performers.

"I'm impressed with the acting and directing for the production. It's been fun, though hectic running back and forth, trying to be in New York and here more or less at the same time," Carlton Molette says. The Molettes have been co-authoring plays since 1969.

Carlton, who has been at UConn since 1991, teaches courses in African-American theater, advertising, publicity and promotion in theater and an interdisciplinary fine arts course, African-American Experiences in the Arts.

The Frank Silvera Writers' Workshop is located on 317 W. 125th St. in Manhattan. For ticket information, call (212) 662-8463.

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