by William Shakespeare
Directed by Lesley Schisgall Currier
We chose this play for the opportunity it allowed for real-life husband and wife team Alexandra Matthew and Bill Elsman to play the bloody couple. Bob and I have played these roles opposite each other in two productions, and we knew how much fun – and what a great challenge – it would be for a real-life couple.
Bill and Alex aren’t just any couple. They met at Marin Shakespeare, each is an audience favorite having played numerous lead roles at Forest Meadows, and each is a fabulous Shakespearean actor. As it turned out, a third Elsman also participated in the production when Alex became pregnant shortly before going into rehearsals.
Now, this is perhaps not the very best show to do when pregnant. There are so many images of dead babies, so much madness, and so much gore. We’re hoping Logan didn’t have too many in utero nightmares!
The production explored the multitudinous teeming madness in Macbeth's brain. The three witches were imagined as household servants who take on sinister qualities only in Macbeth’s mind. A growing number of apparitions appeared throughout the play, augmenting Banquo’s ghost, bubbling up from the cauldron as the line of kings, and ultimately helping lead to Macbeth’s downfall in the final duel.
The costumes and set had an eerie fairy tale quality. The set pieces consisted of slabs of wood, tree stumps and twigs that began in a chaotic jumble, came together to create the banquet scene, and broke apart again as Macbeth’s world disintegrated. Revolving and trap doors gave the world a permeability, blurring the lines between sanity and madness, reality and phantoms of the mind.
One of the mysteries in this play is the question of the “missing” Macbeth child. Lady Macbeth says she has “given suck” but Banquo confirms that Macbeth “has no children”. Having never seen it staged, we decided to give the Macbeths an infant at the start of the play, who we understand dies shortly after the murder of Duncan. It was an interesting solution with a certain merit. In other lovely touches, we saw Banquo dreaming about Fleance becoming king, a second murderer who broke down under the stress of killing a pregnant Lady MacDuff and Child, and many instances of Dunsinane filled with spying and paranoia. It was bloody fun!
-- Lesley Schisgall Currier
Macbeth - WILLIAM ELSMAN*
Lady Macbeth - ALEXANDRA MATTHEW*
Banquo - DARREN BRIDGETT*
Macduff - SCOTT COOPWOOD*
Duncan - KEITH STEVENSON
Malcolm - DANIEL PETZOLD
Donalbain / Young Siward - ZANE MORRISSEY
Lennox - DAVID MOORE
Ross - ERIK RHEA
Angus - ERIC SADLER
Porter - ROBERT CURRIER
Murderer 1 / Bloody Captain - JAMES HISER*
Murderer 2 - AARON MALBERG
Witches - LYNNE SOFFER*
Fleance – LUCAS RUDY
Macduff Child – ANGELICA ZUBER
Director - Lesley Schisgall Currier
Costume Design – Abra Berman
Dramaturg - Cathleen Sheehan
Fight Director – John Ficarra
Lighting Design - Ellen Brooks
Properties and Set Décor – Joel and Toni Eis
Set Design – Mark Robinson
Sound Designer – Billie Cox
Stage Manager – Sabrina Kniffin*
Assistant Stage Manager Jessica Lauren
Producer - Lesley Schisgall Currier
Member of Actor's Equity Association