Hedgerow Theatre will be the setting for a tale of intrigue, treachery and murder, complete with witches and ghosts, as it stages Macbeth from October 17 to November 17.
's notorious tragedy is loosely based on a real-life 11th-century Scottish general who rose to the throne by murdering the ruling monarch. The Bard added supernatural touches to enhance the story, including a trio of witches whose prophecies cause the downfall of a man first overcome with ruthless ambition and lust for power, and then by a guilty conscience and fear of discovery.
Director Dan Hodge
, a Barrymore Award winner and cofounder of the acclaimed Philadelphia Artists' Collective, promises a fast-moving production different than one he would do for any other company. "Because it's in Hedgerow's "fall thriller" slot," he said, "I'm focusing on the play's paranormal elements. The witches aren't the only unearthly characters. Every major character speaks to the unknown, constantly calling on the forces of darkness. We're creating a world in which the supernatural is a constant presence where something other-worldly might happen."
This version is set in a more modern time than the original. "We've moved it to the World War I era," Hodge explained, "to give the audience a power structure and people they can recognize. It was a period when the quest for the supernatural was really strong, when spiritualists, fortune-telling and seances were quite popular. I love the classics because they demand your attention and allow for contact with the audience. I think of a soliloquy as a direct conversation with the audience. There is no fourth wall, so it's possible to engage them and make them feel part of the action."
Hodge has a long history with the "Scottish play," having appeared in it in three times in varying capacities. "I played Malcolm at 19 in Weatherford, Texas, at the now defunct Weatherford Repertory Theatre," he recalled, "then the first murderer at the Old Globe Theatre
in San Diego while studying for my MFA in classical acting, and later a weird sister at the Two River Theatre Company in Red Bank, New Jersey. It's one of my favorites."
The title role is played by Juilliard trained JaRed Reed
, Hedgerow's Associate Artistic Director. Others in the stellar cast are Jennifer Summerfield as Lady Macbeth, Brian McCann
as Macduff, John Lopes as Duncan, David Blatt as Seyton, Joel Guerrero as Banquo, Zoran Kovcic as Ross, Rebecca Cureton as Lady Macduff and the second witch, Andrew Parcell as Malcolm, Susan Wefel as the first witch, Lily Dwoskin as the third witch, and Eli Dietrich as Fleance.
After a preview on Thursday, October 17 at 7:30 p.m., shows are scheduled at 7:30 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays, at 8 p.m. on Saturdays, and at 2 p.m. on Sundays. There will be no performance on Saturday, November 9, as the theatre celebrates its 90th anniversary with a gala.
Adult ticket prices for Friday, Saturday and Sunday shows are $32, Thursday shows are $29, and Wednesday matinees are $25. There is a $3 discount for seniors; tickets for students with valid ID and children under 18 at $10. Previews are $20, and no other discounts apply. For groups of 10 or more, tickets are $18 for adults and $16 for seniors. Prices include all fees and are subject to change. For reservations, call 610-565-4211, or visit www.HedgerowTheatre.org
. Hedgerow Theatre, America's First Repertory Theatre, is at 64 Rose Valley Road, in Rose Valley (near Media).