Miranda at the IRT

The complexities of the Middle East are a metaphor for the internal emotional and spiritual conflicts of the title character in Miranda, the latest Indiana Repertory Theatre production. Playright-in-Residence James Still has crafted an intriguing play that at its heart is about the secrets we keep from ourselves, as well as from others.
Set in 2014-15 Yemen, prior to the most recent outbreak of conflict, the title character of Miranda, played with a twitch of cynicism and world-weariness by Jennifer Coombs, is a CIA operative in a shadowy world of double-dealing and deceit. “Friends” Rose (Mary Beth Fisher) and John (Torrey Hanson) are also part of that world. Their cover for intelligence gathering is an arts exchange program, teaching Shakespeare’s Othello to young Yemenis like Shahid (Ninos Baba). A true friendship with Dr. Al-Agbhari (Arya Daire) forms.
Much of the play involves Miranda’s revelation that her relentless pursuit of finding meaning in the death of her brother in the Twin Towers in 2001 has lead her far from herself. It is a painful notion of loss unmasked.
Still’s eye is sharp and clearly focused on Miranda’s journey. A spartan stage design by Ann Sheffield reflects the austere view of Miranda’s heart and mind. Director Henry Godinez pulls excellent performances from the small cast who are new to the IRT (only Fisher and Hanson have played the IRT before). This is a smart, intense production that demands the audience’s attention.
Miranda continues through April 23. Visit irtlive.com or call 317-635-5252 for upcoming performances. The final show for the 2016-17 season is the upcoming Dial M for Murder.