Macbeth: Spectacle and Strength

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The iconic literary piece by William Shakespeare, Macbeth, graced the virtual space this past weekend for the Fish Project Play Festival. The abridged version proved it was much more than the Scottish play with a cursed name by bringing an impactful and beautiful production to the Zoom space. Elizabeth Witek ‘23, the director of the piece, executed a creative vision that has been in the making for two years. Witek explained that her past experience at an all girls high school, Trinity Hall, inspired her to create an ensemble with all female-identifying actors.

This adaptation of Macbeth was a supportive and safe space for all the actors as they used their past experiences and identification as females to inspire this adaptation of Macbeth and demonstrate how this dramatic world functions. Hannah Goodman ‘23 does a wonderful job of bringing a wide variety of emotions and complexity to Macbeth and her inner struggle for power. Madeline Burk ‘23 portrays Lady Macbeth with compassion and heart to showcase the visceral reactions of the character and her relationship with Macbeth. Goodman and Burk do a wonderful job of bringing the romance to life and establishing an honest and true relationship between the two characters. 

The rest of the ensemble elevates the piece as well and brings the text to life in a grounded way. The three witches are also beautifully creepy and eerie with their spell casting and delivery of Shakespeare’s text. The iconic lines are all there, and Amanda Carter ‘23 (Witch 1), Amanda Berkson ‘23 (Witch 2/Lady Macduff), and Ariella Markus ‘23 (Witch 3) work in unison despite the virtual distance. However, the real highlight of the production is the incredible use of Zoom and the digital technologies that are available to creators without the physical restrictions of a theatre. Witek and the rest of her creative team did a fantastic job of making this piece work for the virtual stage and making the production a piece that needed to be seen in the Zoom format. The effects are astounding, from the witches’ green and blue magic to the flashes of blood and the dead spirit of Duncan at a dinner table. 

Shachar Kessler ‘23 (stage manager/choreographer), Mikaela Strauss ‘24 (assistant director), Sophia Pettine ‘23 (scenic and lighting design), Eden Kaufman ‘23 (film design), Danny Milkis ‘23 (co-editor/score), Daniella Medvedovski ‘24 (co-editor), and the rest of the team bring this piece to life in a stunning and electrifying way. The visual effects create real magic and the smart use of the virtual layout depicts the dark woods of Scotland and the intensity of various scenes with sharp lighting. Witek’s interpretation of Macbeth showcases a beautiful sense of womanhood and also the corruptions of power in a stunning virtual spectacle.

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