“…something wicked this way comes.”
(Lenox, MA) – Shakespeare & Company presents William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, directed by Obie Award-winning director Melia Bensussen. Company veterans Jonathan Croy and Tod Randolph take the helm as Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, two of Shakespeare’s most notorious anti-heroes. Shakespeare’s stunning classic of blind ambition and corrosive power runs from July 3 – August 5 in the Tina Packer Playhouse.
“When working on this play, I kept thinking of the dead man’s heart beating beneath the floorboards,” said Director Melia Bensussen. “Edgar Allan Poe’s ghost stories are a big influence – his writing about hauntings, about the tricks our minds can play. The spirit of Poe’s psychological terror wherein we see portrayed our own irrationalities, our own capacities for dark deeds, our own chaos as creators with great imaginations but sometimes without boundaries – that’s the ghost story of Macbeth this summer.”
Macbeth marks Melia Bensussen’s directing debut at Shakespeare & Company. The cast features Shakespeare & Company veterans Gregory Boover (Young Siward), Thomas Brazzle (Macduff), Jonathan Croy (Macbeth), Nigel Gore (Duncan, Porter), Deaon Griffin-Pressley (Malcolm), Zöe Laiz (Hecate, Lady Macduff), Ella Loudon (Banquo), Tod Randolph (Lady Macbeth), and Mark Zeisler (Ross). The creative team includes Cristina Todesco (Set Design), Dan Kotlowitz (Lighting Design), Olivera Gajic (Costume Design), Brendan F. Doyle (Sound Design), Hope Rose Kelly (Stage Manager), Ariel Bock (Vocal Coach), and Ted Hewlett (Fight Director).
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to have Melia Bensussen directing this classic for us here in the Berkshires,” said Artistic Director Allyn Burrows. “She and I have collaborated on a number of projects elsewhere and I knew her keen sensibility, grasp of the material, and powerful point of view would be a welcome addition to our process this summer.”
Additionally, Shakespeare & Company invites audiences to participate in a Conversation With the Artists on July 14th at 2pm. Join Artistic Director Allyn Burrows, and actors Jonathan Croy and Tod Randolph, for an enlightening discussion about the production’s concept and the collaborative journey. Croy and Randolph will provide insight into their process for exploring and embodying these two complex characters. For tickets and more information visit shakespeare.org.
Tickets for Macbeth are available online at shakespeare.org, or by calling Shakespeare & Company’s box office at (413) 637-3353. The Tina Packer Playhouse is air-conditioned and wheelchair accessible. Shakespeare & Company is located at 70 Kemble St. in Lenox, Massachusetts. Macbeth is generously sponsored by Deborah and Bill Ryan.
The Company’s 2018 Summer Season also includes two other Shakespeare plays: As You Like It and Love’s Labor’s Lost; plus Morning After Grace by Carey Crim; Creditors by August Strindberg, adapted by David Greig; Heisenberg by Laurence Olivier Award winner Simon Stephens; Mothers and Sons by Tony Award-winning playwright Terrence McNally; and HIR by Pulitzer Prize finalist Taylor Mac.
AT A GLANCE
Playwright: William Shakespeare
Director: Melia Bensussen
Assistant Directors: Caley Chase and Myeongsik Jason Jang
Set Designer: Cristina Todesco
Lighting Designer: Dan Kotlowitz
Costume Designer: Olivera Gajic
Sound Designer: Brendan F. Doyle
Stage Manager: Hope Rose Kelly
Vocal Coach: Ariel Bock
Fight Coach: Ted Hewlett
Gregory Boover (Young Siward, Fleance)
Thomas Brazzle (Macduff)
Jonathan Croy (Macbeth)
Nigel Gore (Duncan, Porter, Doctor)
Deaon Griffin-Pressley (Malcolm)
Zöe Laiz (Hecate, Lady Macduff)
Ella Loudon (Banquo)
Tod Randolph (Lady Macbeth)
Mark Zeisler (Ross)
Tuesday, July 3 – 7:30 PM (preview)
Wednesday, July 4 – 6:00 PM (preview)
Thursday, July 5 – 7:30 PM (preview)
Friday, July 6 – 7:30 PM (preview)
Saturday, July 7 – 7:30 PM (opening)
Sunday, July 8 – 2:00 PM
Tuesday, July 10 – 7:30 PM
Wednesday, July 11 – 7:30 PM
Thursday, July 12 – 7:30 PM
Friday, July 13 – 2:00 PM
Saturday, July 14 – 7:30 PM
Sunday, July 15 – 7:30 PM
Tuesday, July 17 – 7:30 PM
Wednesday, July 18 – 7:30 PM
Thursday, July 19 – 2:00 PM
Friday, July 20 – 2:00 PM
Saturday, July 21 – 7:30 PM
Sunday, July 22 – 7:30 PM
Tuesday, July 24 – 2:00 PM
Wednesday, July 25 – 7:30 PM
Thursday, July 26 – 2:00 PM
Friday, July 27 – 7:30 PM
Saturday, July 28 – 7:30 PM
Sunday, July 29 – 2:00 PM
Tuesday, July 31 – 2:00 PM
Wednesday, August 1 – 7:30 PM
Thursday, August 2 – 2:00 PM
Friday, August 3 – 7:30 PM
Saturday, August 4 – 7:30 PM
Sunday, August 5 – 2:00 PM (closing)
On his return from a successful series of battles, Macbeth, the Thane of Glamis, learns that he has been given the title and lands of the Thane of Cawdor. His compatriot and brother in arms, Banquo, hears from spirits that he will be progenitor to a line of kings. While Macbeth himself is stirred by the prophecy that he may be king, King Duncan declares that his son, Malcolm, the Prince of Cumberland, shall be the heir to the throne, and Macbeth is shaken to the core. Lady Macbeth learns of these developments as she prepares to host King Duncan in her castle, and she plots to have him die there. By morning the king is dead, stabbed in his sleep, and his guards are murdered and posthumously blamed for the king’s death. King Duncan’s sons, fearing for their lives, flee to England and Ireland, and their flight is perceived as an indication of their having killed King Duncan. Macbeth is therefore crowned king, but he immediately suspects Banquo, whose issues were prophesied to be kings, as a threat to his rule and has him assassinated. Macduff heads off to England to join forces with Malcolm, leaving his family vulnerable in Fife, where they are promptly murdered on orders from Macbeth. On visiting the spirit voices in solace, Macbeth leaves thinking he’s invincible and prepares for battle at Dunsinane against Malcolm’s army. The spirits have told him that “none of woman born shall harm Macbeth” and that Macbeth shall never be vanquished unless the forest of Birnham Wood advances upon his castle, a ridiculous notion. As the walls close in around Macbeth, and as Lady Macbeth becomes devoured by the guilt of their actions, the prophesies become devastatingly clear.
About Melia Bensussen
(First season; Director Macbeth), an Obie-award winning director, also adapts and translates new works for the stage. She is thrilled to be directing at Shakespeare & Company for the first time. Most recent credits include A Doll’s House (Huntington Theatre) and the world premiere of Faithful Cheaters (Trinity Rep). Among other credits are numerous productions with Actors Shakespeare Project in Boston, as well as work at Merrimack Rep, La Jolla Playhouse, Baltimore Center Stage, Hartford Stage Company, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the New York Shakespeare Festival, MCC, Primary Stages, the Long Wharf Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse, ATL/Humana Festival, People’s Light and Theatre Company (Barrymore nomination), and Playwrights Horizons. Raised in Mexico City, Melia is fluent in Spanish and has translated and adapted a variety of texts including her edition of the Langston Hughes translation of Garcia Lorca’s Blood Wedding. This May she is directing Melinda Lopez’s adaption of Lorca’s Yerma at the Huntington Theatre. She is a recipient of Directing Awards by the Princess Grace Foundation and the Drama League Directing Fellowship. Melia now serves as Chair of the Arts Advisory Board for the Princess Grace Foundation, is on the Executive Board of the Society of Directors and Choreographers, and is on the faculty at Emerson College in Boston.
About William Shakespeare
(Playwright Macbeth) was an English poet, playwright, and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world’s pre-eminent dramatist. His works, including some collaborations, consist of about 37 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been translated into every major language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.
About Shakespeare & Company
Located in the beautiful Berkshires of Western Massachusetts, Shakespeare & Company is one of the leading Shakespeare festivals of the world. Founded in 1978, the organization attracts over 30,000 patrons annually. The Company is also home to an internationally renowned Center for Actor Training and award-winning Education Program. More information is available at www.shakespeare.org.