WHERE AND WHEN:
December 6 to 21, 2018
Teatro Circulo, 64 East 4th Street, NYC 10003
Presented by First Maria Ensemble
Thursdays through Saturdays at 8:00 PM, Sundays at 2:30 PM and 8:00 PM $25 general admission, $20 seniors and students.
Box office: www.smarttix.com
Runs 2 hours including intermission
A man with secret ambition, and no legacy to leave; a woman mourning the death of her baby boy, with nothing left to live for but her man; an idea insinuated in their brains: these are the main ingredients of MacBeth. Yes, it’s “the play with the Witches”, but all that the underworld does is plant a seed in an otherwise fertile ground. Do the Weïrd Sisters see the future? Or did they overhear Duncan bestowing the title of Cawdor on Macbeth, and decide to use that bit of truth to run a cruel experiment on him? Are Fake News responsible for the ultimate collapse of Scotland into English hands? All these questions begged for a close consideration of what the Witches represent in the play: the decision to make them a Greek Chorus of sort, played by the entire Ensemble, and to make them invisible or at least indecipherable, goes with the idea of the entire prophecy stemming from the boiling cauldron of MacBeth’s mind: they are the bloody daggers, the scorpions in his brain, the voices telling him he’ll sleep no more.
Every Shakespeare play has its own music, and if A Midsummer Night’s Dream has, for instance, the harmonic cleanliness and witty twists of Mozart, MacBeth is grounded with the modal tones, additive rhythms and dis-harmonic clusters of Modest Mussorgsky: in working on the Music and Sound Design with Francesco Santalucia and Papaceccio we used these observations as a starting point, together with some of the recurrent themes in the language: namely the boiling and spiraling of the cauldron, The co-existence of the opposites (fair is foul), and the “vaulting” or “overlapping” of MacBeth’s ambition, which can never satiate itself because it keeps being fed new morsels of what could be. We incorporated all of these themes, which appear in the language as well as in the often irregular and unresolving iambic, into the Chorus of the Underworld played by the entire ensemble.
The set and costumes begged for the same treatment, and with Raffaella Toni we started with the idea of the cauldron as the world of the play, and the play itself literally bubbling out of it: the use of spandex fabrics was a natural and genius idea on her side, and every element in the costumes and set (including the blood that MacBeth slowly but surely drowns in as the story goes) are crafted from the same source. The costume design is influenced both by the Tartar echoes of the play’s music (see above) and the Japanese styles of Kabuki and Butoh theatre. The light design, by Pamela Kupper, became then essential in giving life and perspective to the world we imagined the play in.
All this makes for a play that, we hope, showcases the marvel of William Shakespeare’s language once its full potential is put to action, and its transforming and transformative powers.
(Artistic Director, First Maria Ensemble
The principals are Tristan Colton as Macbeth, Celeste Moratti as Lady Macbeth, Doug Durlacher as Duncan, Silas Gordon Brigham as Malcolm, Audrey Tchoukoua as Banquo, Nicholas Wilder as Macduff, Collin McConnell as Ross, Laura Montes as Lennox, Nina Ashe as Lady Macduff, Fleance and Donelbain and John Hardin as Seyton/Porter and Captain. The Witches, Hecate and Apparitions are played by the entire ensemble. Set and costume design are by Raffaella Toni. Lights by Pamela Kupper. Vocal coach is Silas Gordon Brigham. Original Music Score is by Francesco Santalucia. Ensemble direction is by Papaceccio. Choreography is by Nina Ashe. Stage Manager is Paige Carter.
Tristan Colton as MacBeth, photo Courtesy of Michael Pauley photography.
"In an age of inescapable information inundation, First Maria Ensemble’s “Macbeth,” directed with ferocity by Celeste Moratti, is a light in the dark. Lines are blurred between truth and fake news, leadership and tyranny, and this production shines with an earnest honesty to interrogate Shakespeare’s classic text in a way that can only be driven by our modern time’s aggrandization of the self in an increasingly isolating world".
Natalie Rine, OnStage