TOWNSHEND >> Leland and Gray Players' second 20th-season show is Shakespeare's "Macbeth." Leland and Gray sophomores read "Macbeth" in the curriculum and become rapt by its tensions, spirits, ghosts – and by its central theme: Greed and gullibility can ruin a good person, so beware of "vaulting ambition." Thus for years Players have lobbied to do "The Scottish Play," dubbed that for generations by superstitious actors; given the state of the country and the world, the time is ripe, says director Ann Landenberger.
The shortest and, perhaps, meatiest of Shakespeare's tragedies, "Macbeth" offers intrigue, apparitions, and action; deception, mayhem and murder. The Players have set their rendition in World War I Europe evoking struggles between good and evil, greed and generosity all seen so vividly in "Macbeth."
Freshmen Fairen Stark has designed set decoration to mark each of many different locations on an austere set featuring long silk panels hung from the ceiling. Junior Anthony Corona and alumna Maezie Cramp are costuming the production for which senior Susie Francy has composed incidental music. Dale Stevens is tech director; Marlboro College graduate and professional lighting designer, Saskia Giramma is guest artist for this production. Nastia Stevens, Austin Morse, Jessop Burrow and Veronica Stevens are the lighting team; Sage Hall and Grant Cullen are sound captains; Emily Frost, Jillian Corona and Kaylah Jacobs are props creators and running crew. Senior Lindsey Vachon and alumna Kayla Williams assist the director.
The cast for Macbeth features Players' veterans and many new faces on the stage including Greg Holland (Macduff) known to audiences for his musical prowess; Sam Harrison (Banquo), a former running crew captain, and Cody Cutler (Menteith), Jordan Gouger (Caithness), and Owen McDonald (Lennox and others) – all known to area fans as excellent athletes. "This is what the Players are about: Everyone is welcome to time on the L&G stage," says Landenberger. The witches in the Players' Macbeth are played as orphan girls by Abbie Hazelton, Dakota Gervais and Alice Coyne; conceived as casualties of a brutal war, their mischief-making is no less volatile than if they were ancient hags. Malcolm is played by a woman, Chloe Fawcett, as are two thanes—a reflection of the change in setting from Medieval Scotland to 20th century central Europe.
Emma Urbaska, who debuted in November's Mystery of Edwin Drood, is Lady Macbeth; Nathaniel Van Osdol is Macbeth. The remaining cast includes Sam Thibault (Ross), Adam Culver (Duncan), Kenny Cashman (Porter), Rebekah Winot (Angus and Lady Macduff), Luke Parker-Jennings (Sergeant and others), Trey Crego (Donalbain and others), Christian Cannella (Fleance and others), and Makaylee Cutts (Hecate and others). Performances are in Leland and Gray's historic Dutton Gymnasium tonight at 7 p.m.; Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, at 3 p.m.
For more information—and to acquire a teacher's packet for those who wish to bring student groups to Macbeth, which runs just under two hours—please contact Annie Landenberger: firstname.lastname@example.org, 802-365-7355, ext. 204.