Published on: October 29th, 2020

A Student Day Trip to Othello

By Hannah Fleming

On October 18th, the students participating in the Washington Hillsdale Internship Program (WHIP) visited the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, Virginia, to see their production of Othello.

Students set off early in the morning on the two-hour road trip to the historical town nestled in Shenandoah Valley.  Before the show and during intermission the actors played live music and interacted with the audience.

Senior Kathleen Hess commented on how much the music added to the overall experience.  “The songs they chose wove into the themes of the play.” she said.

Othello was written in the early seventeenth century, but its coverage of themes like racism, revenge, and romance is still relevant today.  Othello is a Moorish soldier who falls in love and marries Desdemona, a Venetian woman. Iago, the antagonist of the play, sets out to break up the couple as revenge for being passed over for a promotion.

After the play, the students explored Staunton for dinner and ice cream.  The bus trip itself back to Washington D.C. was a bonding experience for the class as they played games to pass the time.

Junior Lauryn Melanson said of the trip: “It was a good experience to bond with the WHIP class…to experience a beautiful work of theatre in a time when live theatre is not happening.”

Musicians playing on stage for OthelloGroup after watching Othello

About Hillsdale in D.C.

Hillsdale in D.C. is an extension of the teaching mission of Hillsdale College to Washington, D.C. Its purpose is to teach the Constitution and the principles that give it meaning. Through the study of original source documents from American history—and of older books that formed the education of America’s founders—it seeks to inspire students, teachers, citizens, and policymakers to return the America’s principles to their central place in the political life of the nation.

About Hillsdale College

Hillsdale College is an independent liberal arts college located in southern Michigan. Founded in 1844, the College has built a national reputation through its classical liberal arts core curriculum and its principled refusal to accept federal or state taxpayer subsidies, even indirectly in the form of student grants or loans. It also conducts an outreach effort promoting civil and religious liberty, including a free monthly speech digest, Imprimis, with a circulation of more than 5.7 million. For more information, visit