Preview of The Scottish Play

Photo by Charles Zwicker

Macbeth will be playing in DeBaun Auditorium this weekend, put on by DeBaun Performing Arts. While not affiliated with Stevens Dramatic Society (SDS), there is a significant amount of overlap in both actors and crew of SDS and DeBaun Performing Arts. The entire show is given a workshop feel when it comes to sets and costuming. This is done with a static arrangement of chairs onstage at all times, serving whatever purpose is needed in each particular scene. The costumes are simple, but clearly different to avoid confusion, since multiple parts are played by the same actors. Some costume changes even happen onstage to allow the action of the play to flow more smoothly.

The entire show is a rapid continuation from one scene into the next, in part because of William Shakespeare’s writing and in part because of the director’s wishes. “It’s like a roller coaster you can’t get off of,” said Dr. Bethany Reeves, the director of this production. She has worked previously on the summer theater shows and the yearly Shakespeare production that DeBaun puts on. DeBaun has been doing a Shakespeare production every year for the past five years to “give students the chance to play those rolls they really want. If you’re serious about acting, you want to play these classic roles,” Dr. Reeves commented, adding, “we’ve got some damn good actors [and actresses] at Stevens.”

Just like classic Shakespeare, there are no mics, so all amplification comes from the actors and actresses themselves. While there are a few sound effects, the sound design is limited. On the other hand, the lighting design is not as limited, which is headed by stage manager Shawna Hawkins, and operated by Stevens student Kiera Dillon. Dillon operates the lighting board for this show, after doing some lighting in high school and working on previous Shakespeare productions with DeBaun Performing Arts. Without being distracting, the lighting does an excellent job of highlighting the mood of each scene, at times bringing the actors together to tell the classic story.

Another significant director on this show was the fight director,┬áJessica Pecharski, as there are multiple fight scenes. When asked about challenges with this show, Pecharski answered, “Well, no one had any experience before. Before we could even think about choreography we had to go over safety, and the basics.” She had previously worked in DeBaun theater with SDS on The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 as the stage manager. She said she was proud of all the actors’ progress, especially Ian DiGuilio, playing Macbeth, and Clayton Lundgren, playing Macduff, whose final battle comprises minutes of the play, with the two using the entire stage for their fight. Pecharsky’s biggest concern when doing stage combat is safety, “and there’s always the problem to keep it real, while making it safe.”

The two-hour play will run Friday, Feb. 9 and Saturday, Feb. 10, starting at 8 p.m. both nights in DeBaun Auditorium in the Edward A. Stevens building.