The MSU Theatre Department’s production of “Macbeth” ended after two weeks of performances.
“Macbeth” is the classic tale of a Scottish general descent into madness after murdering the King Duncan to take over the throne of Scotland. The play is very familiar to most, however, this latest production of the Shakespearean classic truly embraces the horror elements from the original.
“Macbeth” was directed by the department’s professor of directing and acting, Heather Hamilton, who has directed various other plays prominent in horror themes, such as the 2017 season’s “Frankenstein”.
“My favorite part of the story is all the spooky ghost and witch stuff,” said Hamilton. After seeing the production, it is no surprise that this is one of Hamilton’s favorite aspects of the play. The set consisted of a dark rock formation that is filled with gothic lighting and gloomy sound design created by graduate student Benjamin Kramer.
Overall, the atmosphere created by the production team gave the audience a feeling of impending dread. Numerous scenes featured gallons amongst gallons of fog to the point of which half of the auditorium was filled in it at one point.
The three witches, played by Sam Buckley, Sandiana Mervio, and Martha Cubillos, which grant Macbeth the deadly prophecy, really heightend the horror elements of the play more so than any other production of the play I have seen in the past.
Not only did Hamilton want to focus on the horror elements from the source material, but she also wanted to reinforce specific themes present in the story.
“We were really interested in the fact that the witches summon a spirit in the form of “a bloody child.” Why a bloody child? Add to this the Macbeth’s missing child and all the other attacks on children in the script, and we decided that children in danger must be a super important theme in the play,” Hamilton said.
Although being part horror story, at its true core, “Macbeth” is a character piece that asks the question of what makes someone do the unthinkable, what motivates certain undesirable actions. Often times adaptions of the tale portray Macbeth and Lady Macbeth as being pure
evil. However, due to the multi-layered performances from the leads, Gary DuCharme who portrayed Macbeth, and Megan Kueter as Lady Macbeth, the characters feel more empathetic which make the themes of regret and guilt even more distinguished.
The cast of Macbeth was made up of 47 people consisting of college, student, locals, and even children. “It’s super fun to direct kids. They have such awesome ideas and it’s amazing seeing how much they tune right into Shakespeare. It does take some additional repetition, however. College students take one rehearsal and extrapolate tons of stuff from it. Little kids tend to need to drill things a bit more,” Hamilton said.
Although, it tells the same old story, the MSU Theatre department managed to make this Shakespearean classic fresh again while also delivering the thrills and chills of the original source material.
Feature photo courtesy of the MSU Theatre Department.