Buy Tickets From the 2011-2012 Season: Macbeth Playing October 06, 2011 to October 30, 2011

A Suzi Recommended Show!

Mary Russell, Andrew Houchins // Photo by Scott King

Witches … prophecy … greed … desire for power … a wife’s yearnings … which is it that seals the tragic fate of Macbeth and his country? Journey to Scotland for this haunting tale. Macbeth is sure to thrill and to chill.

Join the cast and crew members for a lively Question and Answer session on Sunday October 16 after the show!


Read the Plot Synopsis

By Laura Cole, ASC Director of Educational Programs and Apprentice company


Three Weird Sisters appear on a heath in Scotland while a battle rages.  King Duncan of Scotland hears from a bloody Captain how his Generals, Macbeth and Banquo, have defeated the traitorous Thane of Cawdor, Macdonwald, and the Norwegian King Sweno. He resolves to bestow Cawdor’s Thaneship on “brave” Macbeth who fought “with Brandisht Steel, Which smoked with bloody execution”.



Macbeth and Banquo, traveling to Soris, encounter the 3 Sisters. They all hail Macbeth as Thane of Glamis (which he is already), Cawdor (which he is not) and as “King that shalt be”. Banquo they hail as “lesser than Macbeth and greater”. They vanish into thin air, and Ross appears, to greet Macbeth with the new title Thane of Cawdor. All three travel on to meet with King Duncan at Soris.

King Duncan, overjoyed at the great victory, rewards Macbeth and Banquo and names his oldest son, Malcolm, as his heir. He invites himself to Macbeth’s Castle to feast and visit after the victory. Macbeth promises to travel ahead of the King to tell his wife of their arrival.

Our scene shifts to Macbeth’s Castle, where his wife awaits her husband’s arrival. From her we learn some of Macbeth’s true nature. He “would’st not play false and yet, would falsely win”. She calls on Spirits to “unsex me here” and fill her “top-full of direst cruelty”. She is determined to help Macbeth achieve what the Witches promised him.

King Duncan arrives at the Castle and is warmly welcomed by the Macbeths. During the feast that night, Macbeth has second thoughts, and his Lady must use all her whiles to convince him that Regicide is the only way to get what they both want. The bloody deed is done finally, and again, Macbeth is conscience stricken over the terrible crime- not just of Regicide but the betrayal of Guest Privilege. The next morning Macduff, Thane of Fife, arrives to travel on with Duncan, and discovers the grisly murder. The whole Castle is roused and Duncan’s sons, Malcolm and Donalbain, immediately resolve to travel to England and Ireland, respectively, to escape certain murder themselves.

Banquo suspects treason. The Witches had proclaimed his future heirs as Kings, and not Macbeth’s line. He is the next to be waylaid and murdered on Macbeth’s orders. His son Fleance escapes the attack.

Macbeth, now King, dines with his Lords in celebration. He makes a show of waiting for the murdered Banquo and is horrified when his dead friend’s ghost appears to him at the feast. His Lady covers for his bizarre behavior, and everyone retires for the night.

The Witches are chastised by Hecat, their Mistress, for trafficking with Macbeth. She promises to use her stronger magic to show Macbeth his destiny the next day.

Macbeth meets the Witches once more, and they show him apparitions who prophesy many unusual things.  They tell him that he need not fear any man born of woman and that he will not be defeated till Birnam Forest comes to Dunsinane, his Castle. The witches disappear, and Lenox enters with news of Macduff’s escape to England. Macbeth orders the slaughter of Macduff’s wife, children and servants.

Malcolm and Macduff are in England bemoaning the sad state of tyranny in Scotland. Malcolm tests Macduff’s honesty and loyalty very cruelly.  Macduff passes the test, and Ross enters, bearing news of Scotland. He also reluctantly tells Macduff of his family’s slaughter. Macduff, full of pain and grief, vows to confront the murdering King upon his return to Scotland.

Macbeth’s Lady has begun sleepwalking and her gentlewoman has called a Doctor in to observe her strange behavior. He suspects the worst when the Lady cannot stop washing her hands and cries out “will these hands ne’re be clean?”



Macbeth has lost all fear and perhaps all reason, judging that the Witches prophecies will hold true, and no one can harm him. He begins to rant and violently oppose all who try to reason with him.



Malcolm, meanwhile, has returned to Scotland with Macduff, Siward and 10,000 men, to oust Macbeth from his throne.  Malcolm has his men cut down branches in Birnam Wood, to disguise the true numbers of his force, and they begin a march to Macbeth’s Castle, Dunsinane.



Macbeth’s Lady kills herself, and Macbeth prepares for battle when a messenger enters and reports that Birnam Wood is indeed coming to Dunsinane Hill. Malcolm’s army gradually overwhelms Macbeth’s forces.  Macduff comes upon Macbeth, and the final fight begins. Macduff kills Macbeth and brings his head, aloft on a pike, to Malcolm.  Malcolm proclaims his right to the throne and invites his new-created Earls, the first that Scotland has ever seen, to Scone to see him crowned King of Scotland.



Director's Notes

Directed by Laura Cole

Show Information

Duration

Act One - 70 min / Act Two - 55 min

Show Roles

Duncan, King of Scotland - Doug Kaye*
Malcolm, Duncan’s son - Jonathan Horne
Donalbain, Duncan’s son - Stephen Hanthorn
Macbeth, Thane of Glamis - Andrew Houchins*
Banquo, Thane of Scotland - Matt Nitchie
Fleance, son to Banquo - Kathryn Lawson
Macbeth’s Lady - Mary Russell
Macduff, Thane of Fife - Troy Willis*
Macduff’s Lady - Kati Grace Morton
Macduff’s child - Kathryn Lawson
Lennox, a Thane of Scotland - Nicholas Faircloth
Angus - Oge Agulué
Ross a Thane of Scotland - Tiffany Porter
Caithness, a Thane of Scotland - Matt Nitchie
Siward, General of the English forces - Doug Kaye*
Young Siward, his son - Stephen Hanthorn
The Weird Sisters - Kati Grace Morton, Dani Herd, Kathryn Lawson
Porter - Daniel Parvis
Old Man - Doug Kaye*
Scottish Doctor - Oge Agulué
Murderers - Stephen Hanthorn, Daniel Parvis, Oge Agulué
Gentlewoman - Dani Herd
Seyton - Daniel Parvis
Bleeding Captain - Nicholas Faircloth
Apparitions - Matt Nitchie*, Daniel Parvis, Oge Agulué
Show of Kings - Troy Willis*, Jonathan Horne, Doug Kaye*, Tiffany Porter, Nicholas Faircloth, Matt Nitchie

Show Times
Shows at the New American Shakespeare Tavern begin at 7:30pm, except on Sundays, when they begin at 6:30pm

Bardometer Rating

How difficult is this Shakespearean play to grasp? On a scale of 1 to 10.
3
 
What does rating this mean?

You may already know the story and what happens at the end. But even if you don’t, the play is light and the plot is easy to follow. Limited violence, limited bawdiness (though please note that Shakespeare was a bawdy writer, you can’t escape it in any of his plays). There are very few things – historical, religious, or political – that you need to know ahead of time. Just enjoy!

We recommend this type of play to families, school-age kids, first-timers to Shakespeare, or anyone who just wants to do something fun on a night off. This type of play is perfect for large groups like birthday parties or special event gatherings.

How to prepare for seeing this kind of play: Just show up! You don’t need to know the play to follow along and enjoy.

Additional Information