This archived article was written by: Nick Critchlow
Witches, murder, greed, manipulation, war and insanity are all part of the CEU Theatre department performance of “Macbeth,” set to open next week.
Dr. Corey Ewan’s project is quite different from his previous plays, “This is the first time I have ever directed one of Shakespeare’s plays, and so this is a pretty new experience.”
Ewan’s main concern was the language and writing of the play. He tried to make it in a way that would make it accessible to the audience.
The play begins with the brief appearance of a trio of witches dancing with their familiars, and then moves to a military camp, where the Scottish King Duncan hears the news that his generals, Macbeth (played by Bo Brady) and Banquo (played by Zach Reynolds), have defeated two separate invading armies, led by the rebel Macdonald, and one from Norway.
Following their pitched battle with the enemy forces, Macbeth and Banquo encounter the witches as they cross a moor.
The witches tell Macbeth will be made thane (a rank of Scottish nobility) of Cawdor and eventually king of Scotland. They also say that Macbeth’s companion, Banquo, will produce a line of Scottish kings, although Banquo will never be king himself.
The witches vanish, and Macbeth and Banquo treat their prophecies skeptically until some of King Duncan’s men come to thank the two generals for their victories in battle and tell Macbeth that he has indeed been named thane of Cawdor.
It is from this moment that the play becomes a tale of greed, murder, sorcery and insanity.
Ewan makes it clear that this is a play of the contrast of good and evil.
The main theme of Macbeth is the destruction wrought when ambition goes unchecked by moral constraints – “finds its most powerful expression in the play’s two main characters. Macbeth is a courageous Scottish general who is not naturally inclined to commit evil deeds, yet he deeply desires power and advancement.
He kills Duncan against his better judgment and afterward stews in guilt and paranoia. Toward the end of the play he descends into a kind of frantic, boastful madness.
Lady Macbeth (played by Jordan Elkiins), on the other hand, pursues her goals with greater determination, yet she is less capable of withstanding the repercussions of her immoral acts.
“I love the cast, they are so energetic. This is also the first college play I have been in and I have never thought that it would get this extreme,” says Sham Bray who play Angus.
Ewan also noted that Grady McEvoy is responsible for the incredible set design. “He has truly brainstormed a great set and some great stage effects.”
Opening night for the play is Thursday Feb. 9 at 7:30 p.m. and runs from Thursday to Tuesday night, with Sunday dark.