Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet)

Written by:

Ann-Marie MacDonald

Artist/Creator(s) Identify As:

2SLGBTQIA+

Cast Size:
16

Roles For:

  • Men: 9
  • People of Colour: 1
  • Women: 7

Genre:

Comedy
Feminist Theatre

Themes:

Cross-Dressing
Feminism
Gender Roles
LGBTQ+
Magic Realism
School
Sexuality
Shakespeare
Writing

Length:

150 min.

Year Written:

1988

Synopsis:

Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) is an exuberant comedy and feminist revisioning of Shakespeare’s Othello and Romeo and Juliet. It takes us from a dusty office in Canada’s Queen’s University, into the fraught and furious worlds of two of Shakespeare’s best-known tragedies, and turns them upside-down. Constance Ledbelly is the beleaguered “spinster” academic, and unlikely heroine who embarks on a quest for Shakespearean origins and, ultimately, her own identity.

When she deciphers an ancient and neglected manuscript, Constance is propelled through a very modern rabbit hole and lands smack in the middle of the tragic turning points of each play in turn. Her attempts to save first Desdemona, then Juliet, from their harrowing fates, result in a wild unpredictable ride through comedy and near-tragedy, as mild-mannered Constance learns to love, sword-fight, dance Renaissance-style, and master a series of disguises… Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) a gender-bendy, big-hearted and crazily intelligent romp, where irony and anger sing in perfect harmony with innocence and poignancy.” (From Penguin Random House)

Characters:

Desdemona / Othello / Juliet / Romeo / Constance Ledbelly – an assistant professor at Queen’s University / Chorus / Student – ‘Julie, uh Jill,’ a student at Queen’s University / Iago / Ramona – a student at Queen’s University / Tybalt / Mercutio / Professor Claude Night – a professor at Queen’s University, and boss to Constance Ledbelly / A Soldier of Cyprus / Juliet’s Nurse / Servant / Ghost

First Produced:

1988, Nightwood Theatre

Resources:

Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) is available through Penguin Random House. Also available through the CPO Website.

Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) can be accessed by the Canadian Play Outlet.

Notes:

Chalmers Award, Governor General’s Award for Drama 1990, Canadian Author’s Association Award.

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