Arts & Culture

Shakespeare on the Green presents ‘Macbeth’

Modern twist on classic Shakespeare play sets Macbeth in context of McCarthy era

Contributing Writer
Thursday, October 12, 2017

Shakespeare on the Green’s 2017 rendition of “Macbeth” brings a modern twist to the classic play, setting it during the McCarthy era.

For their fall play this year, Shakespeare on the Green will present a rendition of Shakespeare’s famous “Macbeth.” Though the play retains its original dialogue, this performance will include a more modern twist seen through a unique lens.

“We’ve set it during the McCarthy era,” said Noelle Austin ’18, the show’s assistant director. “There are a lot of themes about appearance and maintaining the personal and public persona, themes of anxiety and claustrophobia. … These themes are very enduring across eras; what’s relevant in Shakespeare’s time is relevant when you get to communism, … the ’50s and the American mindset all the way to today.”

The play focuses on Macbeth’s choices and the reasoning behind them, said Grant MacFaddin ’19, director of the play. “Usually (he’s) touted as … ambitious and he has this tragic downfall, but what we want to do is take that a bit further; why does Macbeth feel like he has to be ambitious, why does he feel like this is something that somebody in his position should do?”

“The play is heavily implicated in themes of gender, power and self-awareness,” said Emma Radmilovic ’18, the play’s executive producer. “Our ‘Macbeth’ translates these themes metaphorically and physically onto the stage, using interpretive moments to depict a world that is slightly outside of reality.”

Though Shakespeare on the Green stages a fall production every year, it does not always fall on Family Weekend. But the director chooses the timing of the production, and putting on the show during Family Weekend allows parents to watch their kids act while avoiding cold winter weather, MacFaddin said. “It makes it a better experience for everybody.”

As a student-run group, Shakespeare on the Green has been putting on shows since 1997. “Shakespeare on the Green came along to fill the niches that weren’t being served,” MacFaddin said. “It filled that void of Shakespeare on campus and also site-specific theater.” The group also offers a shorter time commitment to those who cannot devote as much time to theater, opening up the plays to more students.

“We have always been committed to being an inclusive and safe environment for all students,” Radmilovic said. “We have had the joy of seeing our community grow significantly in the last four years to become a thriving theater community.”

In the performance, audience members can expect an in-depth experience. “The show has a lot of movement,” Austin said. “The choreography has some tango, it has some contemporary, it has some fun modern movement.”

“It’s a very intimate performance,” said MacFaddin. “It’s a relatively small audience, and it’s a pretty tight space so a lot of people can expect to get up close and personal with the experience of the performance.”

The show is set to take place in Lot 29, located at 8 Fones Alley, Friday, Oct. 13, at 7 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 14, at 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 15, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets are free for the public and can be obtained on the Shakespeare on the Green Facebook page or at the door. In the case of inclement weather, the production’s rain site will be posted on its Facebook event page.

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