Dramatists Play Service
Bianca and Desdemona
THE STORY: Having slept with Othello’s entire encampment, Desdemona revels in her bawdy tales of conquest. Her foils and rapt listeners are the other integral and reimagined women of this Shakespeare tragedy: Emilia, Desdemona’s servant and the wife of Iago, and Bianca, now a majestic whore of Cyprus. The reluctantly loyal Emilia pesters Desdemona about a military promotion for her husband. Her motive, however, is that he leave her a wealthy widow, preferably sooner than later. Bianca, now a street-wise yet painfully naive prostitute, visits Desdemona, thinking she is a very good friend and fellow hooker (at least one night a week). Bianca thinks the worst when she discovers that Desdemona knows intimate details of the life of her lover, Cassio. Though Desdemona has never been intimate with Cassio, her life is soon in danger when her husband, Othello, also suspects her of infidelity.