by Michael Meigs
Much of Shakespeare's Othello takes place in Cyprus, that island in the eastern Mediterranean flooded with dazzling sunshine. Philip Kreyche's production of the play is staged mostly in shadows in the under-lit Center Stage on Real Street. The contrast was intense between my memories of the island and the imaginary space inhabited by Kreyche's company, but it was appropriate. Othello is, after all, about devilish work, double-dealing in the dark, culminating in a nighttime stabbing and assassination followed by the moorish general's regretful murder in their marriage bed of Desdemona, the woman whom he loves beyond reason.
Philip Kreyche produces the piece, directs it, and appears as Othello. Intelligent and ambitious,in the past two years he has written pieces of remarkable depth dealing the expressionist painter Oscar Kokoschka and with Persian epic myth, appeared with Austin Shakespeare as Octavius in Man and Superman and as Laertes in Hamlet, and produced, directed and taken the title role in Macbeth. With this staging of Othello, he has assembled a strong cast that complements his talent and appearance. It's a gripping, at times searing evening, one that builds relentlessly through treachery to the tragic ending.