Macbeth Opens On Campus This Week

Macbeth will be the second Shakespearean play to hit the campus stage in the past five years.
Macbeth will be the second Shakespearean play to hit the campus stage in the past five years.
From left, Kiersten Jones, senior; English Professor Lana Whited; and Django Burgess, freshman; rehearse a scene.

The days left of rehearsal dwindle as the  Theater Arts Department sets the stage for the upcoming performance of Shakespeare’s Macbeth on campus.

The production will make its debut this Thurs., Feb. 22, at 7 p.m. The opening show is reserved for the students, faculty, and staff on campus only.

The waiting will come to an end for the community on Fri., Feb. 23, when the performance goes public at 7 p.m. The weekend will continue with another showing on Sat., Feb. 24, at 7 p.m. and Sun., Feb. 25, at 2 p.m.

All productions will be held in Rex Stephenson Theatre on campus, and the Saturday and Sunday shows will be dinner theater productions, with a dining option available–see link below.

Macbeth was written by William Shakespeare in 1606. It is the second Shakespearean play to make the campus theater in the past five years. Director and Theatre Arts Professor Rebecca Crocker is particularly excited about the production.

“It’s been among the top three of my favorite Shakespearean plays,” she explained. “I even in a production of it in graduate school, and I think it’s important for students to get the experience working in and with Shakespeare.”

Crocker compared the learning of the script to learning something like Latin or French.

“It can feel a lot like a second language, you know? Their terms and phrases aren’t ones that we use, and it can be just a whole lot of words,” she said.

Crocker also described the scenes to be extremely emotionally charged and very challenging to perform.

Graduating History and Musical Theater double-major TJ Baker, senior, agreed. Baker is cast as Macbeth.

“It’s certainly one of the most difficult roles I have ever played,” Baker voiced. “Macbeth has a very dramatic role, and he is quite the roller coaster of emotions throughout the scripts. It’s really challenging to understand what exactly I am supposed to portray and to make it seem genuine.”

However, the rigorous level of acting is not enough to slow down the cast. In fact, many of the actors and actresses will appear on stage for more than one role.

Katie Groce, sophomore, is one of the multi-role cast members, and she spoke on the experience.

“The two main parts I play are the first murderer and second apparition,” offered Groce. “This is also my first production, so this has definitely been a little tough, but fun, to get into!”

It was all smiles with Groce, as well as the additional members of the cast and crew, as they scurried around backstage to being rehearsal.

Groce is just one of the many performers preparing for the upcoming show, and Crocker explained that the people behind the production are a very diverse and family like group.

“That’s the best part about theatre on campus,” Crocker said. “You don’t have to be a theatre major to perform, and you don’t even need to be a college student! We have local actors, too, and depending on the needs of the show, we have actors as young as five and as old as too old to ask!”

Addison Ryder, a local eighth grader, is one of the local actresses. She expressed only love for the stage.

“I like being the eighth grader,” Ryder stated, “I get to know other people, and we have such a broad production. I really like being on campus.”

Ryder also indicated her role as a very busy one in Macbeth with an eager tone, similar to the enthusiastic spirit that overtook the air of the theatre as rehearsal began.

With Thursday just days away, the cast and crew are both excited and anxious.

Jalen Buie, senior, is a crew member who spoke highly of the projected outcome of the show. His job is to control the lights throughout the duration of the play.

“I’m feeling good about this,” he said. “I think we all are.”

Troy Smith, junior, added to Buie’s statement.

“A little anxious, but good,” Smith asserted.

If all goes as plannedthe only problem predicted to arise, and a good one for the department, is the limited seating availability caused by the non-traditional stage setting of the play.

“About half the actors are going to be around the audience,” Crocker indicated. “And there will only be about 80 seats available each show. It is going to be pretty packed.”

In order to ensure a seat, tickets can be ordered online until the day of the production.

Also, department members mentioned to watch for information released for the following performance, Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoattaking the stage this April.









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