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Shakespeare's Villains by Art Kang

Hello, my name is Art Kang. I play Don John, the Bastard, in the Nathan Hale Theatre production of Much Ado About Nothing. Don John is the main villain in the play, seeking a chance to screw over his brother, Don Pedro, because of his envy. I believe one of the features of Shakespeare is an attractive villain: Iago, Richard III, Macbeth, Coriolanus, and Shylock, just to name a few. Shakespeare's villains are not just an evil dude like in old Disney movies. His villains are usually three-dimensional and seem real. Often, they are not only evil but also good in a way. Or, you could understand and empathize with their evil deeds. And I believe Don John is one of them.

It is implied, in Much Ado About Nothing, that Don John was marginalized from his birth by society. Understanding Don John, I tried hard to recreate his character in more of an insane way. I had to watch a bunch of (all kinds of) villain scenes - Joker, Hannibal Lecter, Anton Chigurh, Hans Landa, etc. - and anything that would help me build the character. I researched them as well. During that process, Mr. Roby contributed a lot, helping me make my Don John. Though it was difficult, I could manage because of support from the people around me. And for that reason, please come and watch Nathan Hale Theatre's fall play, Much Ado About Nothing!


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