For years now, regional audiences have noted the brooding—and, at times, lethal—intensity that has become actor Gil Faison's artistic signature. It has enhanced productions of August Wilson's Century Cycle plays at N.C. Central University and Deep Dish Theater, as well as regional playwright Howard Craft's recent works at N.C. Central and Manbites Dog Theater. But that's not the only reason we're anticipating theatrical fireworks when Faison takes what promises to be a memorable turn with the title role in this Deep Dish production of Othello. The same show gives us veteran actor David Henderson's take on Iago, Othello's spurned aide-de-camp, who deliberately turns his own ruthlessly effective brand of psychological operations against his luckless leader.
The A-list cast continues through the supporting roles, with Ryan Brock as Cassio, David McClutchey as Roderigo and Tom Marriott as Brabantio. Another key player in the cast, Miranda Kahn, is a newcomer, but with credits that include a BFA at NYU/Tisch School of the Arts and study at the Stella Adler School and London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, we're inclined to grant her the benefit of the doubt going in as Othello's doomed wife, Desdemona. Director Paul Frellick writes that he's viewing the play "through the prism of late 20th-century military culture," examining how bonds formed on the battlefield bind a bit differently once everyone's back home—with ultimately fatal consequences. The production opens Friday and runs through May 29 at the theater's space in University Mall. —Byron Woods