12 October 2021
Something wicked this way comes…
That something would be Macbeth, Atholton’s fall play. Macbeth is the story of a power hungry man who will do anything, especially murder, to become king.
Shakespeare plays are notorious for being difficult, especially at a highschool level.
This will be Atholton’s first performance since She Kills Monsters two years ago and it’s certainly going to stand out. Pop punk costumes, very large eye makeup, beautiful stage design, special effects, edits to the original, sword fighting, and a gender-bent cast all contribute to the charm of Atholton’s production of Macbeth.
“I think the cast is amazing. I think the crew is amazing. I think the way that we’ll have it for the show is amazing,” said Evan Bickle, who is playing Macbeth
Speaking of the cast, many of the traditionally male characters will be played by women. “Most of our actors in the play are girls,” said Lucia Chacon, an actress playing one of the witches. “So, some characters who are traditionally men are being played by girls.” The cast was described as “diverse” by Folajinmi Awofeso, who will be playing the character Banquo.
Unlike other productions of Macbeth, Atholton is including the wars that feature at the beginning and end of the play. “There’s going to be masses of people running around on stage slinging swords at each other, which should be very enjoyable,” said Mr. Rosen. Let’s hope all the swords are fake.
Although the wars were kept in, other parts of the original script were booted off the island. Some scenes and dialogue had to be cut for the sake of time, but an entire character was cut. According to Awofeso, that character is Hecate, the goddess of magic and ruler of the three iconic witches. “We’re cutting it [Hecate] because there’s a lot of sources that say that it wasn’t originally written by Shakespeare,” said Eva Mendoza, an actress playing one of the witches.
Hecate may not be in the play, but magical elements certainly will. There will be plenty of fog to give the stage a spooky and mysterious vibe. Lighting effects and lightning will also assist in cementing the play’s aesthetic. The tech crew was described as “brilliant” and “incredible” by Bickle and Sydney Barnes, AKA Lady Macbeth. There will also be no liquid blood in the performance. Red ribbons will be used instead.
Stage effects aren’t the only aspect of building Macbeth’s aesthetic. The set design will consist of two staircases with a platform connecting them. Kelsie Schlichting, the stage manager, said that there will be an area underneath the platform for actors to walk under. It was described as “beautiful” by Barnes.
Much like the set design, the actor’s makeup will be bold. The cast will be wearing large and dramatic eye makeup so the audience can see their eyes better, because all the actors are going to be wearing masks. “You can stay tuned because we are going to have very exaggerated makeup,” said Sophia Monslavo, who plays one of the witches.
The large eye makeup compliments the pop punk style costumes. The actors are going to be wearing alternative costumes to give the performance a modern look. “We’ll have emo dressed king and queen and stuff like that,” said Barnes. The dialogue is going to be eleventh century style, which will contrast the twenty first century style outfits. Masks are also being treated as part of the costume and will be color coordinated to everyone’s outfits.
The fall play is only a month away, but there is some history behind how it was chosen. Macbeth was chosen partially because of how much the actors loved She Kills Monsters two years ago. “They enjoyed the sword fighting,” Mr. Rosen said. The Atholton drama program also has a four year rotation on classic stories, according to Mr. Rosen.
The in-school production of Macbeth will be on November 10th. The after school productions will be from November 11th to November 14th. Look out for ticket sales!