Campus News

'Macbeth' Features Ensemble Cast

Story posted November 15, 1997


BRUNSWICK, Maine -- A cast of 13 students, many filling cross-gendered roles, will perform William Shakespeare's "Macbeth," in Pickard Theater, Bowdoin College, at 8 p.m. from Nov. 11-15.

Three student actors, two men and one woman, will play the role of Macbeth, while two actors, one man and one woman, will portray Lady Macbeth. The gender switches, however, are not the only unusual feature to this telling of "Macbeth." The play, directed by Daniel E. Kramer, assistant professor of theater and dance at Bowdoin, is staged slightly differently than usual, with the audience seated onstage with the actors.

According to Kramer, the differences are clearly intentional, an attempt to bring the audience closer and create an intimate setting for the performance. And it is also an attempt to recapture the original intent of the Bard's plays.

"What we're doing is to borrow this play back from the classroom and use it for what it was meant to be entertainment," Kramer said. "Just because it's an old play doesn't mean we need to be old-fashioned."

Each of the actors plays multiple roles, and the switch of principal characters is at times done midscene. Kramer hopes to illustrate the many gender issues evident in the play.

The three Macbeths are Katie Hansberry '97, Chinsu Kim '98 and Rob Najarian '99. The Lady Macbeths are Ethan Corbin '98 and Allison Zelkowitz '98.

The staging change, which will limit the audience each night to 120, is achieved by constructing risers on portions of the stage. The limited seating is the reason for the extended, five-night run.

Tickets are $5 for the general public and free with Bowdoin I.D. and are available at the Smith Union Information Desk and at the door.

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