On the evening of Friday, November 9th, I had the pleasure of seeing one of Williams Shakespeare’s most famous tragedies, Macbeth, was exquisitely performed at the University of West Georgia Theater Company in the Black Box at the TCPA Richard Dangle Theater. Although the tragic events in the play where difficult to comprehend due to Shakespeare’s early modern language, it was an enjoyable night of theatre. Macbeth can be viewed as a cautionary tale because it shows that not everything in life is what it seems to be.
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This theme is shown through the witches and in the way they manipulate Macbeth to their will, giving him false hope that one day he would be great.
Inside the set, a wonderful ensemble of actors played. I applaud the director, Christine Fuchs, in her choice of casting. It was unexpected that female actors were used to play male characters. King Duncan (played by Mary Dixon) and Macbeth (played by Monica Garcia) were actually played by female actors, and they dominated their characters really well. Each actor is worth mentioning, but the one who stood out the most was Lady Macbeth, performed by Ashley Carter. Ashley Carter’s use of different facial expressions, notably an evil little smirk, her body language and her powerful voice made her character exceptional and fierce. The director’s choice on a thrust theater style was not at all what I expected. The audience were closer to the actors executing their performance, which made them connect a little more to the performance and to details.
Jackson Bernhardt’s set design, and Deja Culver’s sound design worked impeccably well with Bryan Hopps’ lighting design, creating a world that was realistic enough to understand between the different transitions in setting throughout the production. Resembling palace torches, for example, warm yellow lighting was used to indicate that a given scene was occurring within the castle walls, dim green lights that provided a dark atmosphere resembling a scene in the woods, and a bright red color, but still dark enough whenever tension stirred up. The lighting helped bring life to the performance. The set design also made it easy for actors to walk in and out of the performance through a wooden door.
In addition, the costume designs which included splashes of paint enhanced the show by illustrating where the play is set, and who the different characters are. JoAnna Maxwell’s makeup design was extraordinary. Banquo (played by Shamia Taylor) dressed in all white clothing with huge red blood stains and with a grey, ashy face helped me understand that this character was now a ghost. The scars on Macbeth’s face also illustrated that this character was a brave fighter.
Although the words were difficult to comprehend, the performance was really enjoyable. Lighting had a huge impact in setting the mood. Overall, the performance was well designed, well directed and amazingly performed without any glitches. Macbeth was a show well worth an evening at the theater.
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