ROCHESTER, NY – The Nazareth College Department of Theatre Arts and Theatre League will present William Shakespeare’s Macbeth as the first production of its 2014-2015 season.
The show will run October 17, 18, 24, and 25 at 8 p.m.; and October 19 and 26 at 2 p.m., in the Callahan Theatre at Nazareth College Arts Center.
Meghan Palmer of Phoenix is among the production’s cast and crew.
The shortest and one of the darkest and most powerful tragedies in William Shakespeare’s canon, “The Scottish Play” is so notorious for the belief that it is cursed that one cannot say its name in a theater space without courting disaster, a superstition in keeping with Macbeth’s backdrop steeped in paganism and prophecy.
Most likely written between 1599 and 1606 and based on Holinshed’s Chronicles (1587) – a history of England, Scotland, and Ireland – Macbeth tells the story of a Scottish general who receives a prophecy from three witches that he will become King of Scotland.
Driven by ambition and emboldened by his wife, Macbeth murders the sitting king and takes the throne.
A guilty, paranoid, tyrannical ruler, he is forced to commit more murders to elude suspicion.
The subsequent bloodbath and civil war lead Macbeth and Lady Macbeth into madness and ultimately, death.
Under the direction of Nazareth College associate professor of Theatre Arts/Acting & History, Matt Ames, the production stays true to the play’s pagan elements, as well as its themes of corruption, deceit, and bloodlust.
“Shakespeare’s shortest tragedy plays out like a freight train full of blood and lies barreling down the tracks sans brakes to its inevitable, fated conclusion,” Ames said, when asked to describe the production. “The pursuit of power, political, emotional and physical, can be enough to drive one mad, and Macbeth and his spouse perhaps discover that too late.”