“By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes.”
This summer, the Seattle Public Theater Youth Program presented Macbeth, a gripping, magical, and artful tale of murder. From witches dancing with ropes to soldiers marching through the crowd, the play had something to capture the interest of anyone. The story tells of a young, power-hungry lord named Macbeth that’s convinced by three witches to kill his way to the throne. Macbeth becomes paranoid that someone will unearth his secret, destroying his standing as king. Soon his crimes are discovered, and a war erupts from the outrage. In the end, the curtains draw over Macbeth’s dead body. Although Macbeth is a spellbinding plot in itself, it becomes even more intimate when performed on the Bathhouse’s 300 square foot stage. With tight seating on three sides, each audience member gets to fully enjoy the enthralling experience.
Senior Ashley Arthur played many roles in this play. The longtime Dramafest participant says she prefers the smaller production compared to Roosevelt’s bellowing auditorium: “It’s a different atmosphere than Roosevelt’s theater, and I feel a stronger connection to the audience.”
Shana Bestock, the director of the play, was very proud of how her actors pulled off the demanding performance. Being involved in the program for 15 years, she stated, “I’ve never seen such a creative and talented young group of actors”. This dedication and flair was clearly expressed when they took to the stage, putting loads of thought into each and every scene. With only four weeks of practice, each actor has perfected each of their intricate Shakespearean lines.
This rendition of Macbeth was exceptional by all standards. This century-old tale is not only filled with elements of excitement, suspense, and sadness, but it also incorporates relevant lessons the audience can learn from today. The play provokes a variety of questions, whether they be about ever-changing nature to breaking cycles of violence. Bestock says she “can’t help but think of current events” when discussing its political relevance today. From witches’ chants to murderous bloodshed, this play is sure to cast a spell on all who watch it.
You can learn more about Seattle Public Theatre’s upcoming shows and programs here. Their next production is another Shakespherean tale, Twelfth Night. The first showing is this Friday, July 31st.
Featured Photo: Macbeth and Macduff, played by Christian Hinrichsen and Roosevelt Sophomore Nathanial Mascis respectively, duel in the penultimate scene. Photo complements of Seattle Public Theatre