Macbeth: Shakespeare's Bloody Tragedy Gets a Surreal Spin Under the Stars at Cal Shakes
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The last date listed for Macbeth was Thursday September 9, 2010 / 7:30pm.
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This gripping production of Shakespeare’s thrilling supernatural tragedy takes place as if in a fever dream—a world wherein prophecies and witchcraft are part of everyday reality. As he did in his wildly creative production of _Pericles _in 2008, director Joel Sass will work with an ensemble of eight actors to make a highly charged and thoroughly unique interpretation of this epic tale of unbridled ambition.
According to Sass, the production will be “contemporary, incorporating strong elements of a gritty ‘reality’ but primarily evoking a world and behavior that is more dreamlike, interior, psychological…I’m after a sort of David Lynch-y quality I’d characterize as feverish, ominous, and slightly ritualized.”
“Macbeth is one of the most well-known plays of Shakespeare, but my hope is that our production will still be packed with surprises and feel fresh, new, and immediate. Adapting it for a cast of eight is both challenging and really exciting, because the experience of the story becomes very concentrated, very intimate. Macbeth is one of Shakespeare’s most intense, harrowing journeys – he takes the audience on a dark ride into the most private ecstasies and agonies of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. My hope is that we’ll create a surprising, psychological thriller/horror show, and not a history pageant/morality play.”
Written in the early 1600s and first performed for King James I, son of Mary, Queen of Scots, Macbeth is loosely based on several stories in Holinshed’s Chronicles, a popular history of the British Isles familiar to Shakespeare and his contemporaries. The shortest of Shakespeare’s tragedies, it has been the subject of numerous artistic treatments, including an opera by Verdi; an all-African-American stage production produced by the Depression-era Works Progress Administration (WPA) and directed by Orson Welles; the Akiro Kurosawa film, Throne of Blood; and a 2010 interactive graphic novel with voiceovers by Derek Jacobi, among others.