Polarity Ensemble Theatre Presents MACBETH, Now thru 3/2
Polarity Ensemble Theatre presents William Shakespeare's tragedy, Macbeth. Adapted and directed by artistic director Richard Engling, Macbeth runs at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Avenue in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago, IL, today, January 30 through March 2, 2014. Press opening is Saturday, February 1 at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are currently on sale.
Three witches cast a circle of magic to the beat of drums and wafts of incense. Like ritual priestesses, they draw in Macbeth, the ambitious warrior who would be King. They encourage the evil inside him and helping it blossom, they allow it to be purged, purifying the Kingdom. This is Shakespeare's classic played to the rhythm of drums, choreographEd Battle and sacrificial rite. The Polarity production takes place in ritual space, a timeless zone in which a soul acquiesces to its own destruction.
"In addition to truly dynamic performances, this production takes theatre back to its origins as ritual," said director Richard Engling. "It casts the witches as ritual priestesses and presents Macbeth as a scapegoat in the original sense of the word. The evil in the society is focused in him, and his destruction cleanses us all. His tragedy then leads to more than a catharsis, it purges that which is poisoning us."
Polarity Ensemble Theatre is entering its tenth year as a company and its first year as a resident company at the Greenhouse Theater Center. Polarity is celebrating with a reimagining of its very first full production, 2005's Absolute Macbeth. The Chicago Tribune called the original production a "Best Bet" saying: "Perhaps the moniker 'Extreme Macbeth' was already used, but the Polarity Ensemble's millennial version of this Shakespearean tragedy is just that--featuring martial arts, percussionists and ritual magic."
The Chicago Reader stated: "The show's hippie-agitprop-shaman elements--interpretive dance, ritual song, bloody sacrifice--are its tightest, cleanest, and most effective."
Bryan A. Buschemi of Twilight Tales: An Online Magazine raved: "... unusual staging, daring interpretations, and compelling musical accompaniment make it a play well worth catching ... one of those small-venue shows that are the hidden treasures of Chicago's extensive theatre scene ... riveting!"
The cast of Macbeth includes: Jake Baker, Brian Bradford, Andrew R. Canada, Dennis Davies, Paige Fodor, Nick Freed, Jeff Harris, BranDon Johnson, Jovan King, Orion Lay-Sleeper, Krystal Mosley, Art Moss, Emily Nichelson, Kasey O'Brien, Hillary Sigale, Kate Smith, Lana Smithner, Julian Stroop, Wendy Walter, Helen Young.
The production team includes: Richard Engling (Director), Jen Poulin (Assistant Director), Rachel Ramirez (Dramaturg), Nicole Smith (Stage Manager), Cathy Crocco (Assistant Stage Manager), Zack Meyer (Fight Choreographer), Charles C. Palia, Jr. (Set Design), John Kelly (Lighting Design), Sophie Blumberg (Lighting Design), Delia Ridenour (Costume Design), Vivian Knouse (Props Design), Nick Freed (Music Director), Andrew Canada (Fight Captain), Andrew Dallas (Sound Design), Dustin Pettegrew (Tech Director), Kimberly Boler (Casting Director), Sam Stelmack (Production Manager).
Polarity Ensemble Theatre is a professionally diverse group of artists who strive to advance the state of Chicago theater for both local and international audiences by developing new works and bringing new life to the classics through live performance, workshops, and publishing. For more information, visit www.petheatre.com.
Schedule and Ticket Information: Previews for Macbeth are January 30 and 31 at 8 p.m.; press opening is Saturday, February 1 at 8 p.m. Thereafter the show runs Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3:00 p.m. through Sunday, March 2.