A Macbeth performance planned

A Macbeth will premiere at SHSU at Wednesday Oct. 24 at 7:30 p.m. with shows through Oct. 27. 

Sam Houston State University’s Department of Theatre and Musical Theatre presents A Macbeth, a powerful adaptation of Shakespeare’s tragedy This condensed adaptation of Shakespeare’s tale is directed by Tom Prior.

“We like to involve students with Shakespeare for their acting training,” Prior said. “The first iteration of the production in Texas was done at Main Street Theatre in Houston. It was a magnificent production.”

The essence of Shakespeare’s classic tragedy is a story about a man embroiled in his ambitious rise to power. Opening just before All Hallows’ Eve, A Macbeth offers its audience a glimpse into a world where witches and the supernatural are the overseers of humankind and ultimately in control of our destinies. Filled with prophecy, revenge and treachery, A Macbeth beautifully adapts Shakespeare’s original text into a taut ninety-minute tangled tale of one man’s journey into isolation.

“I wanted to introduce the audience to a riveting adaptation of Macbeth,” Prior said. “This production is much shorter than traditional shows of Macbeth. I think that makes it easier for people to conceptualize the power of Shakespeare. It is a good way to educate the public and students.”

This streamlined adaptation of Shakespeare’s play was created by Guy Roberts, founder, CEO and artistic director of the Prague Shakespeare Company as well as the artistic director of the Mermaid Theatre Company, a US based classical theatre company. A Macbeth premiered on Nov. 7 in Prague, Czech Republic at Divadlo Kolowrat.

“I saw this production in Prague a few years ago,” Prior added. “I cannot thank Guy Roberts enough for allowing us to perform his adaptation.”

A Macbeth will premiere Wednesday, Oct. 24 at 7:30 p.m. with nightly showings running through Saturday, which will also feature a 2 p.m. matinee. For ticket information, contact the Box Office at 936.294.2339 or visit www.shsutickets.com to purchase your tickets online. General admission tickets are $10.

“The actors were subject to an arduous audition process,” Prior said. “All students in the acting program are required to audition. It was a challenging process for our casting team to decide who should play which role. We have actors with no experience in the production. It is challenging to both direct a production and teach a class. The most challenging part of the production was a major fight scene at the end of the show. We have a fight director who started auditions for the sword fighting right away. He had to teach the actors how to fight. In total, it was a six week process.”

Performances take place in the Showcase Theatre, located in the University Theatre Center at 1740 Bobby K. Marks Drive and 17th street between the Newton Gresham Library and the James and Nancy Gaertner Performing Arts Center.