UW-Parkside’s Macbeth reigns supreme


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Macbeth (Shane Richlen) stunned on stage holding a dagger.

CHYNNA CHUNG | chung009@rangers.uwp.edu

Set out of time and place, UW-Parkside’s production of Macbeth succeeded in bringing Shakespeare’s tragedy to life! Opening weekend, I had the pleasure of seeing UW-Parkside’s production of Shakespeare’s tragedy, Macbeth, at the Black Box Theatre. At first glance, the small space seemed as if it could not handle such a large undertaking. However, once the play began the entire theatre was transformed and the audience immediately submersed into a unique, reimagined world of Macbeth.

The play follows Macbeth (Shane Richlen) and Lady Macbeth (Hannah Anderson) through their journey of power and corruption as they chase the throne. A prophecy is given to Macbeth and his friend Banqo (Jarrod Langwinski) by three witches (Madison Moore, Catherine Kleinofen, and Chelsea Strebe), who interfere with the natural world throughout the production.

All of the actors won the fierce battle between keeping the audience engaged and bringing Shakespeare’s text to life. Worthy of note are Macbeth (Shane Richlen) and Lady Macbeth (Hannah Anderson), who created a believable depth of chemistry between their characters. Also worthy of mention are the witches, (Madison Moore, Catherine Kleinofen, and Chelsea Strebe) along with their leader Hecate (Beth Albrecht), who took on multiple roles to push the story forward and used their bodies to sculpt interesting dancer-like movements that truly brought the characters to life.

The set was designed by Jody Sekas and boasts subtle yet powerful details. The strange painted marks on the stage floor already set the tone that something spooky and magical was is in store.  The witches of the show climb onto large metal trees constructed around the audience, which was a wonderful surprise that surrounded us and drew us further into the strange, new world. The set pieces also rotated and moved during transitions by the witches’ powers, which added to the overall mystique.

The unique costuming for the show was designed by Misti Bradford. The attire chosen for the actors was a fascinating blend of traditional period appropriate pieces and modern couture. Interestingly, the costumes of the main characters developed with the characters over the course of the show. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth’s costumes became more elaborate and interesting as they rose to power, which aided in carrying the story forward.

Adding to the interesting set design and costumes was the unique use of projections, designed by Eamonn Higgins. Throughout the play projections were used to capture the audience’s attention and emphasize certain parts of the show. At one point, Hecate (Beth Albrect) was elevated center stage while projections of skulls and twisted souls frame her.

Director Lisa Kornetsky has triumphed when it comes to adding her own spin on a tragic classic and pulled us into a brand new world of Macbeth. She made expert use of the space and talent available to her to bring magic to every moment of the production.

In a time when Shakespeare can seem boring to most audiences, this production of Macbeth revived the original text in a spectacular way. A fellow audience member, Samantha Feiler, stated, “I was so engaged in the performance and in the story that I didn’t even feel like I was watching Shakespeare.”I would encourage all students to attend future UW Parkside productions. It is evident that everyone involved is entirely invested in making these performances unforgettable.

PHOTO CREDIT: JODY SEKAS

 

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