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Denzel Washington and Jake Gyllenhaal will lead ‘Othello’ on Broadway

The duo will star in the first Main Stem mounting of Shakespeare’s tragedy in over 40 years.

(L-R) Denzel Washington and Jake Gyllenhaal (Credit: Brian Bowen Smith; Momodu Mansaray)

A revival of William Shakespeare’s “Othello” is headed to Broadway. Tony Award winner Denzel Washington will play the titular role opposite Tony nominee Jake Gyllenhaal as Iago. The production will open on Broadway in spring 2025 at a Shubert Organization-owned theater. Tony winner Kenny Leon will direct and Tony nominee Brian Anthony Moreland will produce.

Production timeline and a venue will be announced at a later date.

Washington won a Leading Actor in a Play Tony for the 2010 revival of “Fences,” which was directed by Leon. Washington was nominated again in 2018 for “The Iceman Cometh.” No stranger to the Bard, Washington played Marcus Brutus in 2005’s “Julius Caesar” and the title role in the 2021 film “The Tragedy of Macbeth,” which earned him an Academy Award nomination. Additional Broadway credits include playing Walter Lee Younger in 2014’s “A Raisin in the Sun” and Sylvester Williams in 1988’s “Checkmates.” He has been nominated nine times total for the Academy Award, winning in 1990 for “Glory” and in 2002 for “Training Day.”

Gyllenhaal, a three-time Tony nominee, is one of a handful of individuals who have received a nod for acting as well as for Best Play (as author or producer) for the same production. He received a 2020 Tony nomination for Leading Actor in a Play for 2019’s “Sea Wall/A Life,” as well as nomination for Best Play, having produced the evening of complementary one-act plays under the production company Nine Stories. Nine Stories served as co-producer on 2019’s “Slave Play,” which earned Gyllenhaal an additional 2020 Tony nomination for Best Play. An Academy Award nominee for 2005’s “Brokeback Mountain,” Gyllenhaal made his Broadway debut in 2015’s “Constellations.” He played impressionist painter Georges Seurat in the 2017 revival of “Sunday in the Park with George.”

Leon has directed two Main Stem revivals of “A Raisin in the Sun,” in 2004 and 2014, the latter of which (headlined by Washington) earned him a Tony for Best Direction of a Play. He received additional nominations for directing 2010’s “Fences” and 2020’s “A Soldier’s Play,” as well as a 2023 Best Musical nomination for co-producing “Some Like It Hot.” He directed the 2023 revival of “Purlie Victorious,” and is slated to direct revivals of “Home” and “Our Town” in 2024. He currently serves as senior resident director for Roundabout Theatre Company.

In “Othello,” the title character is a Moorish general who falls prey to his subordinate Iago’s malicious manipulation, causing him to act out against his wife, Desdemona. While nearly 20 productions of “Othello” were presented on Broadway in the 20th century, the Shakepearean tragedy has not played the Main Stem in over 40 years. The most recent mounting was a Tony-winning 1982 revival starring James Earl Jones as Othello, Christopher Plummer as Iago and Dianne Wiest as Desdemona. 

General management for “Othello” will be provided by 101 Productions. Additional casting, by Duncan Stewart of ARC Casting, as well the production’s full creative team, will be announced.