American Moor

by Keith Hamilton Cobb.


winter 2023.

A seasoned Black actor auditioning for the role of William Shakespeare’s iconic Black hero Othello must respond to the dictates of a younger white director who presumes to understand how to maximize the black character for believability. What could possibly go wrong? A poetic exploration of Shakespeare, race, and America, not necessarily in that order.


“…some plays…take the idea of ‘necessary’ to a deeper level…AMERICAN MOOR is one such play…a blisteringly eloquent and penetrating meditation on the ever-urgent matter of race in America—though ‘meditation’ seems far too tame a word for the dramatic force Cobb brings to the subject…” —Boston Globe. “Cobb’s earnest, reasoned script slashes so precisely that you may not see Shakespeare—and a lot of roles played by black performers—quite the same way for a while.” —Washington Post. “If you go to see AMERICAN MOOR—and you should—leave any white fragility you may have at home.” — “AMERICAN MOOR…is a witty, passionate, furious, and movingly intimate record of an African-American actor’s often unrequited love for Shakespeare…” —NY Review of Books. “AMERICAN MOOR…offers a promising avenue into the future of Shakespeare performance, a conversation with the text, in a modern idiom, as opposed to a translation of it, that brings us closer to Shakespeare’s language, not further away.” —

—Dramatists Play Service, Inc.