Debra Ann Byrd's ‘Becoming Othello: A Black Girl’s Journey’ Draws Praise from 'Wall Street Journal'

Maggie Barrows
July 28, 2021

A'Lelia Bundles Community Scholar Debra Ann Byrd performed her one-woman show, Becoming Othello: A Black Girl's Journey, in Lenox, Massachusetts, this July. The autobiographical show is about the period in Byrd's life from her difficult childhood in Harlem to her founding of a classical theater troupe after discovering a love for Shakespeare. Byrd incorporated hundreds of lines from the Bard's own writing into the story. In the Wall Street Journal, Terry Teachout praises Byrd's "limitless charisma" and compares the "riveting" show to Hal Holdout's Mark Twain Tonight.

In addition to her current show, Byrd has played the lead in three all-female productions of Othello. She will be performing Becoming Othello: A Black Girl's Journey at Lincoln Center on August 4, in collaboration with Harlem Week and the Harlem Arts Alliance.

Read the review in the Wall Street Journal.

The A’Lelia Bundles Community Scholars Program, administered by the Office of Government and Community Affairs, the School of Professional Studies, and the Office of the Provost, enables members of the Upper Manhattan community to pursue aspirations and projects through a three-year affiliation with the university.