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We Happy Few presents “Desdemona: A Play About A Handkerchief”

May 19, 2022 @ 7:30 pm - June 11, 2022 @ 10:00 pm

We Happy Few Productions presents

Desdemona: A Play About A Handkerchief

By Paula Vogel

Helen Hayes Recommended We Happy Few (PERICLES, 2018; LOVERS’ VOWS, 2019) takes a step forward by looking back this spring. In their first Shakespeare-adjacent piece since 2018’s PERICLES, and their first live stage production since the COVID-19 pandemic, the company journeys to Cyprus and the castle of Othello, to discover and discuss the relationships between Desdemona, Bianca, and Emilia while their lovers and husbands conflict and conspire. From love and sex to class, race, labor, privilege, friendship, rivalry, and everything in between, these three examine their lives and what they can make of them, while unbeknownst to them, decisions are being made for them off-stage. Written by the legendary Paula Vogel, DESDEMONA applies a wicked and witty feminist lens to Shakespeare’s underwritten female characters, giving them a voice, a drive, and agency which they have long lacked.

The world’s a huge thing. It is a great price for a small vice.

The three female characters from Othello tackle friendship, relationships, sex, and liberation in the back rooms of the castle while the story of Othello (and its dire consequences) unfolds around them. Told through a third-wave feminist lens, this raunchy romp through feminism is a hilarious and poignant delight.


Desdemona; A Play About A Handkerchief was written by Paula Vogel. It is directed by Kerry McGee (LOVERS’ VOWS) and stars Raven Bonniwell (MACBETH), Paige O’Malley (TREASURE ISLAND) and Gabby Wolfe (LOVERS’ VOWS), with violin accompaniment by Manuela Osorio (The Toccata Players). Produced by Debora Crabbe and Jon Reynolds. Stage management by Rachel Dixon and Mackenzie Wentela. Intimacy direction by Emily Sucher. Lights by Jason Aufdem-Brinke, sound design by Louis Davis, set by Jon Reynolds, costuming by Ivania Stack, props by Rose Talbot, dramaturgy by Aria Velz, graphic design by Stefany Pesta.


Founded in 2012, We Happy Few’s mission is to rediscover and reimagine classic stories that challenge, illuminate, and charm audiences. We Happy Few has established itself as one of Washington D.C.’s best small theatre companies (City Paper, 2021; the DCist, 2015) by nurturing a creative environment that thrives on ensemble collaborations with some of the nation’s most promising emerging theatre artists. WHF’s flagship production of a six actor, 90-minute HAMLET premiered at the 2012 Capital Fringe Festival to great acclaim, exploring the idea that the entire play unfolded in the title character’s mind. WHF’s 2017 production of HENRY V was hailed as “a fascinating, resonant, and important new take on a known work” (Broadway World). We Happy Few earned its first Helen Hayes Recommendation with 2018’s PERICLES, and its first two Helen Hayes nominations for 2019’s LOVERS’ VOWS. DC Metro Theater Arts declared We Happy Few’s work “a new approach to Shakespeare you will not want to miss.”


Desdemona: A Play About A Handkerchief is presented at:

Capitol Hill Arts Workshop (545 7th St SE, DC)

on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from May 19th until June 11th

All performances begin at 7:30PM.

Audiences must provide proof of vaccination and take a temperature check upon entering the venue. All audience members must remain masked throughout the performance.

Tickets are $25 and are available through our website https://www.wehappyfewdc.com/desdemona

Follow us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/WeHappyFewProductions, Twitter: @WeHappyFewDC

and Instagram: @WeHappyFewDC for behind-the-scenes information about this show.


May 19, 2022 @ 7:30 pm
June 11, 2022 @ 10:00 pm