Alabama Shakespeare Festival Tells Tales of Power and Death

By SHANNON HEUPEL, Montgomery Advertiser

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — With William Shakespeare’s tragedy “Macbeth” — which opened final Thursday on the Competition Stage for Alabama Shakespeare Competition’s fiftieth season — director Rick Dildine is able to take audiences on a tour by way of darkish wishes.

“What if our chief’s ambitions went unchecked?” stated Dildine, ASF’s creative director. “It’s definitely a tragic story of this couple’s downfall. They get so extremely wrapped up in energy that it causes their final destruction.”

Summing it up, Macbeth is a Scottish basic who slays the king of Scotland, turns into the king, after which retains killing others in an try to carry onto energy.

Dildine stated he’s been having enjoyable amidst the carnage and tragedy, making ready ASF for certainly one of Shakespeare’s hottest performs. .

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“This present is motion packed,” Dildine stated. “It has main battles.”

Whereas a few of Shakespeare productions have been modernized, Dildine stated that’s not the case for “Macbeth.” Although this manufacturing is all authentic Shakespearian textual content, Dildine stated the appearing is obvious and the story is straightforward to comply with.

“We’re telling what I’m calling a timeless, Scottish folktale,” Dildine stated. “It’s set in a broad Scottish medieval time interval, with dwell music that has been impressed from the interval.”

There’s additionally loads of sword motion, Dildine stated.

“I set the bar very excessive in placing collectively this ensemble of people who find themselves nice actors, swordsmen and musicians,” Dildine stated. “It’s a really gifted firm of actors.”

After all, it additionally has a contact of witchcraft.

“There are three characters who’re witches that lay the groundwork for Macbeth’s formidable pursuits,” Dildine stated.

Written by Shakespeare in 1606, it’s a story that resonated with England’s individuals and ruler of the day, King James, who got here to the throne from Scotland. Queen Elizabeth had died three years earlier.

“On the time the play was written, the brand new king of England was satisfied that treason was related to witchcraft,” Dildine stated. “These are concepts which are misplaced on us right now, however throughout that point interval Shakespeare’s audiences would have instantly caught up on that. The king of England would have caught on it too.”

Reveals will run by way of Feb. 24. Tickets for the two hour manufacturing, with one intermission, can be found on-line at asf.internet/macbeth-2022, or by calling 334-271-5353. This manufacturing is beneficial for ages 13 and up.

“I believe our audiences are actually in for a giant deal with,” Dildine stated. “People have been asking for a giant Shakespeare play for a while since I’ve been right here. This simply suits the invoice… It’s an ideal play for first time Shakespeare attendees, and for many who love Shakespeare and have seen numerous it.”

Leaping ahead to right now, the pandemic continues to be affecting preparations by actors, and this 12 months’s third return to dwell indoor theater at ASF.

“We rehearse largely in masks,” Dildine stated. “We take a look at twice every week. However I’ll say this is among the greatest corporations of actors that I’ve ever labored with. It’s an exceptionally gifted bunch. We now have new precautions, however the of us have met the problem.”

Audiences are nonetheless required to do their half as nicely. Visitors should put on masks, and should present both proof of immunization or a damaging COVID take a look at consequence from inside 72 hours of the manufacturing. ASF’s full COVID coverage is on-line at asf.internet/covid-policy-patrons-2022.

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