MACBETH to Send Chills Through Downtown Santa Monica, 10/31-11/22
The City Shakespeare Company is on a mission to re-define what you think of one of Shakespeare's most famous (and currently most popular) works, Macbeth. They open their production on October 31st near downtown Santa Monica, in a storage space behind an empty art gallery.
Allison Volk and Brooke Bishop, co-founders of the company, were very intentional as they searched for this space. "All our shows are site-specific, meaning we choose the space according to what the text calls for. We wanted something raw to match the gut-wrenching subject matter," writes Volk, who plays Lady Macbeth.
Unlike many productions with large casts, City Shakes is an ensemble of seven actors who play two, three or four characters. Jose Espinosa plays Banquo and the Porter. He says, "This company is unique because we try out every idea, entertain many things, and we're not afraid of transforming Shakespeare into something different and new and modern."
Indeed, the mission of City Shakes is to bring Shakespeare to the 21st century in a way that is accessible and "this production puts these iconic characters into a recognizable, modern context," states Spencer Paez, who plays Malcolm and Fleance. "We're holding a mirror up to the darker parts of human nature and inviting them to ask themselves some deep questions about hidden motivations," says Colin Martin, the actor playing Macbeth himself.
"What would it take for you to kill? Do you have it in you? That's what our production asks. The ability to relate to the most evil-seeming deeds is what terrifies us as artists," adds Bishop, the show's director. One thing's for sure: you won't leave this performance without goosebumps on the back of your neck, and that's a promise.
If you go: Macbeth plays Thursdays and Fridays at 8 pm October 31 through November 22, and Saturdays November 9 and 16, at 1454 Lincoln Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401. Plenty of free street parking after 6pm. Doors open at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $20 at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/472852. For more information, please visit www.CityShakes.org.