The Department of Theatre Arts Mainstage Productions at the State University of New York at New Paltz presents a progressive adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth. The play, directed by Paul Kassel, will be performed on Nov. 29, 30, Dec. 1, 6, 7, 8, at 8 p.m. and Dec. 2 & 9 at 2 p.m. in McKenna Theatre on the SUNY campus.
Traditionally, Macbeth is a story about the lust for power, tragedy, prophesy and bloody repercussions. According to Kassel, the New Paltz production will be presented with a modern twist. Kassel said, “Inspired by the Arab Spring, we are setting the play in contemporary times in a Eurasian country embroiled in civil war and foreign occupation.
In this world there is evil that both influences and prompts acts of evil in others. In our world, however, these forces, these witches, are unseen. Evil can appear anywhere, anytime, and the vain, the ambitious, and the power-hungry are susceptible.
As fresh as if written yesterday, our production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth features contemporary dress, women soldiers, and a set that evokes both the Globe Theatre and Tahrir Square. We surround the audience with sights and sounds that evoke modern warfare, while honoring the text of Shakespeare with a talented cast of students.”
Macbeth is considered one of Shakespeare’s darkest and most powerful tragedies. The play is believed to have been written between 1603 and 1607, and is most commonly dated 1606. The earliest account of a performance of what was probably Shakespeare’s play is April 1611. It was most likely written during the reign of James I, who had been James VI of Scotland before he succeeded to the English throne in 1603. James was a patron of Shakespeare’s acting company, and of all the plays Shakespeare wrote during James’s reign, Macbeth most clearly reflects the playwright’s relationship with the sovereign.
Paul Kassel is associate dean in the School of Fine & Performing Arts and associate professor in the Department of Theatre Arts. A professional actor, director, and writer, his book, “An Introduction to the Art and Craft of Playing”, was published by Allyn and Bacon in 2006. He is the managing editor of The Players Journal theplayersjournal.org a journal by and for actors and teachers of acting. He is also a member of Actors’ Equity and SAG.
The beautifully realized costume design is the work of Sarah Cubbage.
The strongly evocative set was created by Ken Goldstein.
Actors in featured image are Robin Epes as Lady Macbeth and Stefan Brundage as Macbeth. Images courtesy SUNY New Paltz.
Ticket prices for Macbeth are $18 general admission, $16 seniors, SUNY Faculty/Staff, and $10 for SUNY students. Tickets can be purchased at the Box Office located in Parker Theatre beginning November 19, call 845 – 257-3880 or reserve online now at www.newpaltz.edu/theatre. For additional information call 845 – 257-3936.
Located in the heart of a dynamic college town, ninety minutes from metropolitan New York City, the State University of New York at New Paltz is a highly selective college of about 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students. New Paltz delivers an extraordinary number of majors in Business, Liberal Arts & Sciences, Engineering, Fine & Performing Arts and Education. http://www.newpaltz.edu/