Macbeth kicks off PICT Theatre’s fall Shakespeare series
by Jennifer Baron, NEXT Pittsburgh
Double, double toil and trouble. Something wicked this way comes. Out, damned spot! Is this a dagger which I see before me? These are perhaps some of the most legendary and oft-quoted lines from all of English literature.
From the chants of witches to Lady Macbeth’s sleepwalking speech, to the very words uttered by Macbeth himself before he murders King Duncan, Shakespeare’s iconic tale of power, ambition, human frailty and politics will come to life in new fresh ways in PICT Classic Theatre‘s latest production. Running October 9th through October 25th at the Stephen Foster Memorial, PICT’s choice of Shakespeare’s shortest tragedy, widely considered to be one of the Bard’s darkest and most powerful works, will appeal to Shakespeare purists, contemporary sci-fi fans and those eagerly awaiting the Halloween season alike.
Experience 1606 like never before in the engrossing story that inspired the “something wicked” theme of PICT’s 2014-2015 season. Launching the local company’s new October Shakespeare series, PICT’s stirring production of Macbeth features a large cast and some novel concepts. Set in Scotland, the legendary tale of Shakespeare’s most wicked hero dramatizes the corrosive psychological and political outcomes when an ambition for power leads to deadly consequences.
Says PICT’s artistic and executive director, Alan Stanford, who is directing the production: “Between the joys of summer and before the bleakness of winter is the perfect time to enjoy Shakespeare.”
Think Games of Thrones meets the 17th century. In overseeing the ambitious production, Stanford envisioned a set that is inspired by The Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland, a locale that is steeped in Irish mythology and legend. A “barbaric, militant vision” for the classic play will be achieved via by the distinct style of stage fighting employed throughout the production. Expect plenty of action-packed battle scenes presented in slow-motion detail, as part of the engaging choreography led by Jim FitzGerald and Mark Thompson.
While Macbeth will not be performed in the traditional Elizabethan fashion, Stanford is interpreting the play in a manner that will remain true to Shakespeare’s masterful text. Providing theater-goers with everyday phrases such as “one fell swoop,” “the be-all and end-all,” “come what may” and “knock-knock, who’s there,” PICT’s production will shine a spotlight on the Bard’s timeless and poignant use of language.
Starring in the wicked masterwork are PICT veterans, David Whalen as Macbeth, and Gayle Pazerski as Lady Macbeth. Also returning to the PICT stage are Karen Baum as Hecate and James FitzGerald as Ross. Macbeth also features Justin R. G. Holcomb as Banquo and Patrick Jordan as Macduff, along with Martin Giles and Dylan Marquis Meyers. Portraying the play’s three mischievous witches are Erin Whitcomb, Lily Davis and Cassidy Adkins.
From the antics of the three witches and the legendary curse involving title of “the Scottish play,” Macbeth is the perfect entertainment for Halloween season. Celebrate all things spooky and ghoulish at PICT’s annual gala, which is set to take place on the Eve of Halloween–Thursday, October 30th. Featuring plenty of inspiration from Macbeth for the event’s theme, “PICT Plays… Witches and Wizards,” the bash will set up shop with wicked fun, including dinner, dancing and spirits at J. Verno Studios on the South Side.
Go beyond the stage to explore Macbeth during one of PICT’s special events, including an Opening Night reception at The Porch on October 11th; a Post-Show Talkback and Q&A on October 12th; a Pre-show Happy Hour at Joe Mama’s on October 14th; a Pre-show lecture by Alan Stanford on October 15th; and more.