‘Macbeth’ aims to create ‘intense’ atmosphere

Alex Kamczyc

A sharp knock booms through the room, clearing the air of any past conversation being held in the same space. Drums slowly creep into the mix, carrying the newly found mood through a rhythm of light, yet tense, beats. Finally, horns join the mix creating a collage of tension, paranoia and chaos.

Stewart Blackwood, a junior theatre studies major, is the curator of the mood. He created the entire musical underscore for the play that’s premiering Friday at the Center for the Performing Arts.

“I had all the designs done for the systems before the semester started,” Blackwood said, gesturing to two desks filled with a sound board and monitors that displayed the sounds that accompany the play.

The music isn’t the only ambitious element going into “Macbeth.”

“There was an ambitious set design. They just finished the set a few days ago,” said Mads Massey, the production stage manager of the show. “There are 300 light cues in three hours, and at least 100 to 200 sound cues, which is very rare to have that many in a play like ‘Macbeth.’”

“Macbeth” is a story about one man’s lust for power in war-torn Scotland. It’s a cautionary tale about blind ambition and what happens when one’s wants outweigh the consequences of their actions.

These moral dilemmas influenced the concept and direction of the play, even encouraging those involved in the design to act the same way.

“Unchecked ambition leads to tyranny of the mind (and) body,” Fabio Polanco, the director of the play, said. “When considering any choice, we ask ourselves if it reflects either a lack of temperance, unchecked ambition or tyranny.”

The crew assures this Shakespeare adaptation won’t bring back negative high school required-reading memories.

“This is not your average Shakespeare show,” Massey said. “This is a full professional production; this is an action movie.”

The production is in the final stages of tech rehearsals, making sure everything is fine-tuned for the premiere on Friday.

“Musicals are one thing, plays are another thing … ‘Macbeth’ has really taken on a third genre,” Massey said. “It’s going to be very intense for the audience — members in the audience are going to be scared. It’s one of our goals. I would assume that most of the audience is going to walk in not knowing that and hopefully that’s going to be a delightful surprise.”

Alex Kamczyc is the arts reporter, contact him at [email protected]