Shakespeare's Macbeth is arguably his most disturbing play, and perhaps one of the more disturbing plays in the English language. The themes of ambition and power, deception and despair, are made even more unsettling by the admixture of blood, bloodlust, solicitation of evil supernatural forces, and the perversion of Nature. Macbeth's hired thugs kill innocents, the witches make a brew of gruesome ingredients, and Duncan's horses eat each other. Pummeled by this onslaught of horrors, we might easily miss the thread of hope that also drives the characters in the play. Macbeth's descent into sin and despair is counterbalanced by the maturation of Malcolm, the true heir to the throne. Malcolm discovers through the example of his too-trusting father that recognizing fallen human nature is not only prudent, but necessary for a leader. In Macduff he sees an example of true patriotism. Seeing in the King of England an example of holiness, he realizes that true kingship involves reliance upon a supernatural power. But rather than call upon the dark spirits that destroy Lady Macbeth, or place his trust as Macbeth did in the twisted words of the witches, Malcolm invokes and places the foundation of his kingship on, as he says, "the grace of Grace."
As the concept for this production developed, I became more and more intrigued by the idea of a punk goth look for the show. The styles and colors of that subculture reflect the obsession with darkness that is so distinct in the play, as well as the sense that, as the play puts it, "Fair is foul and foul is fair". Not to mention this provided an excellent creative challenge for our student designers in the new Production Design class! We hope you enjoy the show!
Parental advisories: Intense imagery and mature themes. Not recommended for young children. This production uses strobe lights.