Othello, Indiana Repertory Theatre

OneAmerica Stage, Indianapolis
March 14 – April 15, 2000

Critical Response

Johnny Lee Davenport is a tall, handsome Othello with an imposing air and a voice that can be exuberant, troubled or deadly calm when it descends to its deep bass depths.

In the beginning, [Othello and Desdemona] behave like love-struck romantics, holding hands and darting on and off stage, but they grow in depth and intensity. You can see the attraction between them, and understand why tragedy must strike.”
—Marion Garmel, Indianapolis Star (March 21, 2000)


“‘The only production that counts is this one,’ said Johnny Lee Davenport, who will play Othello in the IRT’s first production of the tale of military power, racial difference, jealousy and domestic violence.

And as far as the IRT or anyone else knows, this also may be the first professional production in Indianapolis since Paul Robeson came through with a touring production in 1945.

‘The circumstances always change. Literally, it’s a world that is created and with each new production, you have to learn a new world with a new director and new people,’ said Davenport.

‘I admire Johnny’s willingness to create a new world,’ [Director Scott] Wentworth said. ‘He could have come in here and said, “Look, I’ve done this. I know it.” But you shortchange yourself if you don’t want to really rethink a role.'”
—Marion Garmel, Indianapolis Star (March 12, 2000)