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Deep Dish’s “Othello” Stars Gil Faison and Miranda Kahn as the Noble Moor and His Ill-Fated Bride

Gil Faison and Miranda Kahn play Othello and Desdemona (photo by Jonathan Young)

Gil Faison and Miranda Kahn play Othello and Desdemona (photo by Jonathan Young)

For its 2010-11 season-ender, Deep Dish Theater Company will present a modern-dress production of Othello, English dramatist and poet William Shakespeare’s timeless tragedy of a noble warrior whose spiteful subordinate who incites him to murder his new bride by falsely claiming that is she is being unfaithful to him, on May 6-8, 11-15, 18-22, and 25-28 in its performance space between The Print Shop and the future home of the Public Library at the Dillard’s end of University Mall in Chapel Hill, NC.

According to Deep Dish Theater Company:

“Passion and envy incite a deadly duel for center stage in Shakespeare’s Othello …. The classic tragedy, directed by [Deep Dish artistic director] Paul Frellick, concludes the company’s 10th season at University Mall.

“‘We’re looking at the play through the prism of a late 20th Century military culture,’ said Frellick. ‘The bonds between many of the characters were forged on the battlefield, and the ferocity of those bonds, which have continued into civilian life, makes possible the events of the play.’

“When Othello (Gil Faison), a Moor and rising star in the Venetian army, appoints Cassio (Ryan Brock) as his Lieutenant, he unknowingly spurs his close ensign, Iago (David Henderson), to retaliation. Furious for being overlooked, Iago plots to destroy Othello by revealing his secret marriage to Desdemona (Miranda Kahn) and exploiting his jealous nature.

“Shakespeare’s crafty villain will stop at nothing to succeed, and everyone will pay the price. The cast also includes David McClutchey as the spurned lover Roderigo, Mary Forester as Iago’s long-suffering wife, Tom Marriott as Desdemona’s outraged father, as well as Eric Swenson, Rajeev Rajendran, Anusha Sethuraman, Jonathan Leinbach, and Doug Lally.

“Othello’s talented design staff includes Michael Allen (set), Elizabeth Grimes-Droessler (lights), Rob Hamilton (costumes), Devra Thomas (properties), and Ross White (sound). Ramona Traynor will stage manage….

“The Deep Dish Theater Company is committed to presenting compelling, human-centered dramatic work that contributes to the cultural richness of the Triangle area and challenges audiences to explore concerns of the community and the world-at-large.”

The Deep Dish Book Selection, the Greek epic Homer’s Odyssey, will be discussed at 7 p.m. on Monday, May 23rd, at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill. According to Deep Dish Theater Company:

“… [This] conversation, presented in conjunction with the theater’s production of Shakespeare’s Othello, will be led by Evelyn Daniel and is free and open to the public. No prior attendance or registration is required.

“Troy has fallen and our hero Odysseus wants nothing more than to head home to his kingdom in Ithaca and his beautiful wife and son. He’ll need strength, smarts, and plenty of courage as he travels through the Land of the Lotus Eaters, battles Polyphemus the Cyclops, faces the tempting, yet deadly Sirens, and continues toward home, where one more unexpected ordeal awaits….

“Though nothing is known about the man for certain, Homer is credited as the author of two of the greatest Greek epic poems, the Iliad and the Odyssey. He has often been described as blind bard who lived around the 8th century BC. Homer would have originally sung his epic poetry to his audience before it was committed to written record. Scholars continue to debate his existence, posing the Homeric Question, but no one can deny the influence of these works on Western literature.

“Flyleaf Books is a full-service, community-oriented independent bookstore, locally-owned by three long-time Chapel Hillians with a love and knowledge of books, a commitment to providing stellar customer service, and experience in the book trade. The store is located at 752 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. (Historic Airport Rd.) in Chapel Hill, next to Foster’s Market and Flying Burrito.

“With every play it produces, Deep Dish Theater offers an accompanying Book Selection designed to broaden and enhance the theater-going experience. Readers are invited to discuss the book on an online blog and attend an informal meeting that is free and open to the public, traditionally held prior to a designated performance of the current production.”

Deep Dish Theater Company presents OTHELLO at 7:30 p.m. May 6; 8 p.m. May 7; 2 p.m. May 8; 7:30 p.m. May 11, 12, 18, and 19; 8 p.m. May 14 and 21; and 2 p.m. May 15 and 22 in its performance space between The Print Shop and the future home of the Public Library at the Dillard’s end of University Mall, at the intersection of Estes Dr. and U.S. 15-501, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27514.

TICKETS: $17 Wednesday and Thursday ($15 seniors) and $19 Friday-Sunday ($17 seniors), except “Cheap Dish Night” on May 11th (with $9 tickets sold only at the door) and $12 for students for all performances.

BOX OFFICE: 919/968-1515 or





NOTE 1: Dramaturg John Harris will give a preshow talk at 7 p.m. on May 13th.

NOTE 2: There will be post-performance discussions on May 15th (with the cast and director), May 19th (with the production’s designers), May 22nd (with Darren Hearn of the Durham VA Medical Center), and May 26th (with Ret. U.S. Air Force Major Gen. Charles Dunlap).

NOTE 3: There will be a lively, informal discussion of the Deep Dish Book Selection, Homer’s Odyssey, led by Evelyn Daniel, at 7 p.m. on May 23rd at Flyleaf Books (, 752 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Chapel Hill, NC 27514.


The Play: (Wikipedia).

The Playwright: (Wikipedia).


Robert W. McDowell is editor and publisher of Triangle Theater Review, a FREE weekly e-mail theatrical newsletter that provides more comprehensive, in-depth coverage of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill theater than all of the other news media combined. This preview is reprinted with permission from Triangle Theater Review.

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