(MURFREESBORO) The Nashville Shakespeare Festival's Winter Shakespeare production is MACBETH will be in Murfreesboro at MTSU's Tucker Theatre for only three performances (this coming Thursday, Friday and Saturday).
It is one of the Bard's darkest and most famous tragedies. Set in an unforgiving, post-apocalyptic world, the warrior Macbeth, spurred on by a supernatural prophecy and his power-hungry wife, is driven to murder and ultimate madness in his unrelenting quest to gain and keep the throne.
David Wilkerson, a long-time NSF collaborator, local actor/director/fight choreographer, who teaches in the MTSU Theatre Department, and edited the text, also directs the play. "This Macbeth is an exploration of those moments that tempt us to deny the humanity in others, thus throwing away a piece of our own," says Wilkerson. "In this defiled world, our choices can ease the corruption and the power of the creatures that feed on it, or our actions can add to it."
Playing the title role is Sam Ashdown, returning to the Nashville Shakes stage after his critically acclaimed performances of Hamlet in HAMLET (2018) and Mark Antony in JULUS CAESAR (2019). Playing the merciless Lady Macbeth is Nashville native Mariah Parris, Jordan Gleaves returns to NSF to play Banquo, and NSF veteran Brian Russell will play Duncan. Other past NSF actors in the cast are Delaney Keith (Witch/Porter), Joy Greenawalt-Lay (Lady Macduff/Fleance), Kit Bulla (Witch), Andrew Johnson (Seyton), and Natalie Rankin (Witch). Joining the company for the first time are Elyse Dawson (Macduff), DeYonte Jenkins (Ross), Jonathan Contreras (Lennox), Lucy Buchanan (Malcolm), and 11-yr-old Micah Williams (Donalbaine).
Creating the eerie, ruinous, physical world of MACBETH is set designer Jim Manning, lighting designer Anne Willingham, costume designer Jocelyn Melechinsky, props designer Amanda Creech, and composer Evan Wilkerson will design the sound. The many battle scenes and murders in the play will be co-choreographed by fight director Carrie Brewer and director David Wilkerson.
Performances at Belmont's Troutt Theater (2112 Belmont Blvd, Nashville) are Jan 9 - Jan 26, Thursdays - Saturdays at 7:30 pm, and Sundays at 2:30pm. At Franklin's Academy Park Performing Arts Center (112 Everbright Ave, Franklin) shows are Jan 30-Feb 2, and at MTSU's Tucker Theatre (615 Champion Way, Murfreesboro) performances are Feb 6-8, Thursday - Saturday at 7:30pm. Tickets are $30 in advance / $33 at the door. Purchase $100 VIP Royal Packages (which include reserved parking, prime seating, and other perks) at nashvilleshakes.org or at ticketsnashville.com.