JACKSON, Tenn. – May 3, 2004 – Shakespeare’s classic story of greed, betrayal and lust for power, Macbeth, complete with kilts and swordplay, will be presented by Union University Players May 6-11, at W.D. Powell theatre.
Ryan Schunemann, a senior art major, and Allie Campbell, a junior theatre major, as Macbeth and Lady Macbeth lead the cast of twenty-one actors under the direction of Darren Michael, assistant professor of theatre, in taking a simple space and making it spectacular. Part of this spectacle will be the large amounts of stage combat involved in the show, which has been choreographed by Michael and fight captain Patrick Myers, junior theatre major.
Aside from having such an unusually large cast for a Union University Players production, this show features an array of costumes designed by Union students Jennifer Downing, senior theatre major, and Emily Brown, junior theatre major. Many times in the past, costumes like those needed for this show have been rented, as was the case for Othello, but not so with Macbeth.
All of the leather working – down to the sheaths for the swords and daggers – has been done by students. The rest of the costumes were built in the theatre’s costume shop, with the exception of two, which were commissioned to a local seamstress.
The show is also highly technical and will feature a number of special effects through sound, light and fog. The lighting is designed by Nathan Ross, senior theatre major, and sound effects are engineered by James Brown, senior Christian Ethics major.
Of course, there is more to the show than just the outer trappings. The plot deals with problems that still occur today.
“It’s a play about choices,” said Downing, who is also acting as production stage manager for the show, "a man who makes very bad choices.”
Schunemann said, "He goes through changes in his life from an honorable soldier to an inward struggle to a really tortured soul torn between self-fulfillment and right and wrong. It’s a struggle between good and evil in the characters. Everyone has that struggle.”
The combination of plot and spectacle in Macbeth is the product of a semester’s worth of work on the part of the director, actors and technicians making it come alive.
“Darren is taking different approach,” Schunemann said, “and I think people will want to see what he will bring out and what he has to say. If you miss it you won’t see it for a long time at Union.”
Performances are at 8 p.m. nightly, with a 2:30 p.m. matinee on May 9. General admission tickets for adults are $7. Reserved seating is $8. General admission tickets for children and students are $3, $4 for reserved seating. There will be additional shows at 11 a.m. on May 10 and 11.
The Union University Players are hosting a dollar night on May 5 during the final dress rehearsal open only to students. All seats will cost $1.
For more information, contact the Union Theatre Box Office at (731) 661-5105.
by Alaina Kraus, '05