September 17 – October 20, 2013

Goodnight Desdemona
(Good Morning Juliet)

by Ann-Marie MacDonald

Show Info

“A tour de force…tremendous wit, breathtaking wordplay and great gusts of knee-slapping broad comedy.”  Ottawa Citizen

“Magical…an uproarious and smart comedy.”  Pittsburgh Press

Celebrated novelist and playwright Ann-Marie MacDonald (Fall on Your Knees and the Belfry musical Anything That Moves) goes nose-to-nose with the Bard in this delicious romp through time and space. When a lovelorn academic – convinced that Shakespeare’s Othello and Romeo and Juliet were intended to be comedies – is transported into the middle of these masterpieces, she begins a comic journey that proves that Romeo, Juliet, Othello and Desdemona ain’t what they used be. And neither is our heroine!

Running Time: Aprox. 2 hours and 15 minutes, including one 15-minute intermission

Audience Advisory:  This production contains the use of stage haze, fog, and strobe lighting.

You can download the Show Guide for Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) here.

Interested in diving deeper into this play?  Hilary Knight has provided some fascinating key notes.

Vocal Eye Described Performance – New this Season
Sunday, October 6 at 1:30 pm

Audio describers from Vancouver’s Vocal Eye program will be providing descriptions of the visual elements of the show, allowing people with low vision to enjoy the theatrical experience without missing any of the details.

Theatre patrons with vision loss are given a personal receiver with a single earpiece and volume control that allows them to hear both the show and Vocal Eye’s live audio description at the same time. The live transmission begins fifteen minutes before curtain with brief descriptions of the set, characters and costumes. Once the show begins, the describer transmits pertinent physical action and visual information between the lines of dialogue. Short program notes and additional description for the second act may be provided at intermission.

ASL (American Sign Language) Interpreted Performance – New this Season
Sunday, October 13 at 2 pm

Signed performances are aimed at people who are deaf or hearing impaired. Trained describers, usually standing to one side of the stage, interpret the script and language used by the performers at the same time it is being performed.  Performances are described using American Sign Language.


Cast & Artists

    • Daniela Vlaskalic
    • Constance Ledbelly
    • Michael Dufays
    • Othello
    • Nicola Elbro
    • Desdemona
    • Pippa Mackie
    • Juliet
    • Jameson Matthew Parker
    • Romeo
    • Ann-Marie MacDonald
    • Playwright
    • Ron Jenkins
    • Director
    • Camellia Koo
    • Designer
    • Michelle Ramsay
    • Lighting Designer
    • Brian Linds
    • Sound Designer
    • Jennifer Swan
    • Stage Manager
    • Ben Cheung
    • Assistant Stage Manager

The Heart of the Matter

  • B4Play interview with Ron Jenkins
  • B4Play Interview with Daniela Vlaskalic
  • B4Play interview with Dr Janelle Jenstad
  • B4Play interview with Dr Gary Kuchar


Assistant English professor Constance Ledbelly is labeled a crackpot for believing Shakespeare’s Othello and Romeo and Juliet were originally intended to be comedies. Ghostwriting for the object of her unrequited love and soon to be banished to the hinterland of the academic world, Constance devotes her research to decoding the elusive “Gustav manuscript,” which she believes hides the source for these plays. She believes that they originally contained a Fool who guided the characters to happy, rather than tragic, endings.

When Constance is mysteriously transported into the world of these two tragedies, her quest for the truth becomes a quest for identity.

Dropped head first into key scenes in Othello and Romeo and Juliet, Constance reveals Iago’s treachery and Romeo’s marriage to Juliet, altering the course of both plays.

Synopsis by Jessica Woollard

Engagement Events

  • B4Play with Gregor Craigie
  • Saturday, September 14 at 11 am
    Belfry Theatre, Studio A
    1291 Gladstone Avenue

    Join CBC Radio's Gregor Craigie for a live talk show featuring Ron Jenkins (Director), Daniela Vlaskalic (Constance Ledbelly) and special guests. Free Event.
  • Belfry at the Library
  • Tuesday, September 24 at 12 noon
    GVPL Bruce Hutchison Branch
    4636 Elk Lake Drive

    Friday, September 27 at 12 noon
    GVPL Nellie McClung Branch
    3950 Cedar Hill Road

    Tuesday, October 1 at 12 noon
    GVPL Juan de Fuca Branch
    1759 Island Highway

    Friday, October 4 at 12 noon
    GVPL Esquimalt Branch
    1231 Esquimalt Road

    This season the Belfry Theatre is partnering with the Greater Victoria Public Library and coming to a branch in your neighbourhood. Join us for a casual lunchtime chat with an actor from our production of Ann-Marie MacDonald’s Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) and a special guest expert from the community. Register online or call your local branch for more information about the free event.
  • Afterplay Weeks
  • September 24 - 28
    October 8 - 12

    During these weeks we want to hear what you have to say. After each evening performance (except September 26), stick around for a short discussion facilitated by one of our staff.
  • TalkBack Thursday
  • Thursday, September 26

    Following the 8 pm performance of Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet), join the actors from the show and your fellow audience members for a 20-minute Q & A session.