The art and craft of the repertory actor has long been seen at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. There, the excellent actors may have a leading role one night and a one-scene walk-on at the next day’s matinee. In either case, they are on top of their game.
There’s a similar strength at this year’s Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival, where the level of performance continues to grow and one sees it in especially strong supporting work.
Two of the actors making outstanding character contributions are Carolyn Howarth, pictured above, and Barzin Akhavan, pictured at right, below. Both play supporting roles in the two shows playing in rep, “Othello” and “Twelth Night,” but the roles are vital.
Howarth has been a stalwart artist with the Foothill Theatre Company for 12 years and her versatility comes as no surprise. In “Othello,” she plays the essential role of Desdemona’s lady-in-waiting, Emilia, who also happens to be Iago’s wife. Then in “Twelfth Night,” she plays Maria, Olivia’s gentlewoman and the ... ehh ... romantic interest of Sir Toby Belch. In each play, Howarth’s character is integral to the plot and her supple characterizations elevates the production.
Similarly Akhavan, a Seattle-based actor making his third appearance at the LTSF, is entirely invested in both his weak-willed Roderigo in “Othello” and his more-vigorous Antonio in “Twelfth Night.” Akhavan gives the productions more overall depth as well - another plus.
Read my review of the show.
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