Final Weekend to See Debra Ann Byrd in Shakespeare & Company’s Production of BECOMING OTHELLO: A Black Girl’s Journey

Debra Ann Byrd. Photo by Lia Chang

Shakespeare & Company is presenting BECOMING OTHELLO: A Black Girl’s Journey, an autobiographical solo show written and performed by Debra Ann Byrd and directed by Tina Packer through July 25 in the Roman Garden Theatre, Shakespeare & Company is located in the heart of the Berkshires at 70 Kemble Street in Lenox, Massachusetts. 

Debra Ann Byrd. Photo by Lia Chang

Described as a living memoir, BECOMING OTHELLO: A Black Girl’s Journey is a multimedia theatrical production with lyrical language, soulful songs and the music that shaped the life of a resilient little girl growing up in Spanish Harlem. This choreopoem chronicles the life of classical actress Debra Ann Byrd. The solo show flows from Debra Ann’s recounting of her ancestral lineage to her arrival at a crossroad in life, while taking us through her joy-filled and tumultuous youth; a fateful encounter with a company of Shakespearean actors and her remarkable, gender-flipped journey on the road to becoming Othello. We share in Debra Ann’s struggle with self-esteem and how, against all odds, she manages to make it through foster care, teenage pregnancy and single parenting, to become the person she always dreamed she could be. It is a deeply personal, poignant and powerful story of perseverance, tragedy, triumph and ultimately, unconditional love.

Debra Ann Byrd. Photo by Lia Chang
Debra Ann Byrd. Photo by Lia Chang
Debra Ann Byrd. Photo by Lia Chang
Debra Ann Byrd. Photo by Lia Chang
Debra Ann Byrd. Photo by Lia Chang

Remaining Performances: 

Friday, July 23 at 5:30 p.m.

Saturday, July 24 at 2:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

Sunday, July 25 at 5:30 p.m.

For more information on Shakespeare & Company, the upcoming season, or to find out how to become a donor, please visit

Click here for tickets.

Shakespeare & Company believes live theatre connects us all in the universal pursuit of a purposeful existence and reveals through storytelling the meaning of our humanity. The Company approaches its forthcoming season with a renewed and continuing commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility. While the addition of available seats will make each performance a more warm and intimate experience, Shakespeare & Company’s top priority is keeping all of its patrons safe and healthy. To help ensure this, staff will sanitize theatre seats and common surfaces in between performances. In addition, all visitors are asked to adhere to the COVID-19 Code of Courtesy, which includes but is not limited to social distancing, wearing properly-fitting masks, refraining from attending performances if feeling unwell, and adhering to all state public health recommendations. 

Due to COVID-19, the on-site Shakespeare & Company Box Office is closed. Please check the Shakespeare & Company website for rain policy information.

About Shakespeare & Company Located in the beautiful Berkshires of Western Massachusetts, Shakespeare & Company is one of the leading Shakespeare festivals of the world. Founded in 1978, the organization welcomes more than 40,000 patrons annually. The Company is also home to an internationally renowned Center for Actor Training and award-winning Education Program. Learn more at

*All programs subject to change. Shakespeare & Company reserves the right to change its program in accordance with COVID-19 guidelines.

The Berkshire Eagle: Debra Ann Byrd realizes dream of writing her memoir in solo show ‘Becoming Othello: A Black Girl’s Journey’

BWW Interview: Debra Ann Byrd of BECOMING OTHELLO: A BLACK GIRL’S JOURNEY at Shakespeare & Company

New York Amsterdam News: Debra Ann Byrd on her free, one-woman show airing Dec. 14

Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young (2021 DisOrient Film Audience Choice Award for Best Short Narrative). She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs.

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