arts

Local group performs tragic 'Macbeth' in Third Street Park



Macbeth," the last of Shakespeare's four great tragedies, will be performed at the Third Street Park over the next two weeks. As the 80th production of the Monroe County Civic Theater, this play is the second and last installment of Shakespeare in the summer series.

Set in Scotland, the play traces Macbeth's ambitious rise to power with the collaboration of his wife. Inspired by the three witches' prophecy, Macbeth embarks on a series of murders, including his king, Duncan, while he is asleep. Composed in late 1606 or early 1607, Macbeth engages in a powerful exploration of the psychology and motivations of an ambitious couple who ultimately fail to retain power.

Director David Michel said he is excited about his directorial debut in Shakespearean theater.

"I really like this play, and I am enjoying directing it," Michel said. "The entertainment value of this play is exquisite."

Michel said graduate student Ben Aldred's performance as Macbeth has been impressive.

"Aldred and the other cast members have previous experience with Shakespearean theater, so they are comfortable with the language," Michel said. "I have been working on making early modern language sound natural and fluid."

Aldred, who has acted in "The Winter's Tale," "Much Ado About Nothing" and "A Midsummer Night's Dream," said the iambic pentameter line structure and the rhythm helped him memorize some lines more easily.

Senior Kacie Leblong, a theatre major at IU and also an employee for the Indiana Daily Student, will perform the role of Lady Macbeth. She said the memorization was a little bit of a challenge because the speech patterns are intricate and complicated.

Leblong said this was a great opportunity for her as an actress.

"Lady Macbeth is very motivated, unlike most other female characters that are flimsy or ingenue," she said.

Susan Anderson, stage manager and assistant director of the production, said she shares Leblong's passion for Lady Macbeth.

"She is fabulous," Anderson said. "In this production, there is enough chemistry between (Aldred and Leblong) to bring them out as the evil couple."

Anderson said the actors will wear costumes inspired by Renaissance styles.

"The men will wear kilts to create a Scottish atmosphere," she said.

Anderson said the theater is also setting up a booth to sell Renaissance clothing and William Shakespeare T-shirts.

Aldred said the show will be very exciting because it is a tragedy with the additional attraction of stage combat, which Anderson said she is enthusiastic about.

"There will be sword play with metal swords," she said. "And the actors will be coming from different directions through the audience."

Aldred said the cast and the crew was aiming for a very essential production of Macbeth.

"We are just trying to produce the best Macbeth possible," he said.

Leblong said the audience members can look forward to watching this celebrated play in a very easygoing atmosphere.

"You can bring your food, chairs and blankets," Leblong said. "For people who are daunted by Shakespearean plays, this is a great opportunity to watch one of his shortest ones."

-- Contact staff writer Sheeba Madan at smadan@indiana.edu.

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