The Daily Tar Heel

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Tuesday March 21st

Mobile Macbeth brings yesterday's themes to the present

The PlayMakers Repertory Company is a professional theatre company in residence at UNC Chapel Hill.
Buy Photos The PlayMakers Repertory Company is a professional theatre company in residence at UNC Chapel Hill.

PlayMakers Repertory Company is making stops throughout the state while on tour with their Mobile Shakespeare production of Macbeth for the next three weeks.

The local professional theatre will be traveling around the Triangle area in a van with five cast members, the essential costumes and three black boxes. These boxes create a bed at one point and a throne at another. The result is a minimalist, “bare-bones” production of Shakespeare's Macbeth.

“It’s just the three boxes and the clothes on our backs,” said Emily Bosco, UNC graduate student and actress playing the roles of Lady Macbeth and a Witch. “I think it makes it pretty universal. You don’t need all the hullabaloo of an intricate set or costumes to tell the story.”

Jeri Lynn Schulke, the engagement associate for Playmakers, said the simplistic approach to the production does not take away from the show as a whole.

“The quality of work, as far as the acting and the performance, is the same as you would see on a PlayMakers stage,” Schulke said.

Schulke explained Macbeth was chosen for this year's production because it relates to the current time.

“It’s a play that resonates with people these days – somebody getting drunk on power and ambition and letting it go to their heads,” Schulke said. “It’s about how that power and ambition can really corrupt people and make them do heinous things.”

Sophomore Anne Carter Payne took a Shakespeare class last spring and connected what she learned to contemporary themes and values.

“The themes found in Shakespeare’s work can be easily applied to themes within the media today,” Payne said. “Especially themes relating to gender rules and balances within the genders.”

In addition to Shakespeare’s relevant themes, Bosco said another engaging element of the production is how the actors and actresses interact with the audience. Because the shows don’t take place on stages, the production is held in large public rooms with chairs surrounding the action. Bosco said this set-up encourages audience interaction during the shows.

“A really nice thing about the production being so bare-bones, and the line between audience and performer being so blurred, is that it makes it very immediate and very relevant to the audience,” Bosco said. “We interact with the audience, ask for their opinions during the show and involve them. It’s pretty unique. ”

Performances are open to the public. Check the PlayMakers Repertory Company's Facebook page to see if Macbeth is coming near you.

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