Skip to main content Skip to footer site map
Reviews: MACBETH Glows Bright at Pioneer Farms in Austin, TX

Reviews: MACBETH Glows Bright at Pioneer Farms in Austin, TX

MACBETH dazzles at Pioneer Farms and should be on every Austinites list of shows to see this weekend.

Navigating the lantern lit path to a small traditional log cabin in Northeast Austin, the house was packed to see Archive Theater's reimagined rendition of MACBETH. The cracked wooden windows to beat the heat, and the creative thrust staging ignited a sense of comradery for the drama needed for Shakespeare's famous Scottish play. Many are familiar with the story of MACBETH - three witches tell the Scottish general Macbeth that he will be King, resulting in murder and mayhem encouraged Lady Macbeth, the chaos quickly spirals out of control - but Archive sets the cunning mutiny during America's civil war era. Altering places listed in the play to reference opposing sides during our nation's torrid history, mirrors the chaos and eventual bloodshed that occurs during Macbeth's plight. The original "game of thrones" between the Macbeths and all who stand in their way is a shocking reminder of how greed and power can be a fatal elixir for the ambitious.

In addition to the thematic reflection, the 1800's informed the audience's eyes through period-inspired costuming as well as through the live folk band that could be heard throughout the show. The formula Archive uses to make their shows look and sound inspired, would fail if not for the actors lending their abundant talents to the Bard's famous story. Most notably are the protagonists themselves, Macbeth played by Jason Graf and Lady Macbeth played by Kathleen Fletcher. Individually, this pair delivers. But when together, they attack the story, drawing the audience in to guess what they could possibly do next. Fletcher was gripping in her encouragement and met each moment with spontaneity and fervor. If a soliloquy "pops the hood" for the audience to decipher a character's motive, then Graf and Fletcher are skilled mechanics in their craft. They truly captured and delivered unchecked ambition in these moments of public self-reflection for the Macbeths. "False face must hide what the false heart doth know" expresses the dynamic between the Macbeths perfectly. They spiral together, then apart, and like a train wreck, audiences love to lean in and see the carnage unfold on stage.

Another enjoyable element of this production in how approachable it is. Modernizing Shakespeare's language in a smart and engaging way, provides a friendlier avenue for more people to fall in love with Shakespeare. The volley of emotions from onlookers makes the highs higher and the lows lower. This was supported by the ensemble in their passion and commitment to the "spirit" of Shakespeare. Notably, the stage combat was well-choreographed, the witches were mystically weird, and the direction brewed it all together with the actor's performances for a wonderful concoction. More than anything, Archive Theater produces on purpose, with great thought and intention. MACBETH dazzles at Pioneer Farms and should be on every Austinites list of shows to see this weekend. Who doesn't love live theatre, live music and a bit of royal murder?

Photo Credit John Michael Hoke

Purchase tickets now: thearchivetheater.org



Review: A SHERLOCK HOLMES CHRISTMAS at The Archive Theatre Photo
This charming show brings on the holiday CHEER without screaming IT'S CHRISTMAS!!! did our critic think of A SHERLOCK HOLMES CHRISTMAS at The Archive Theatre?

Deaf Austin Theatres THE LAST FIVE YEARS to Open This Weekend Photo
Deaf Austin Theatre's The Last Five Years is set to open at Ground Floor Theatre this weekend! The production runs from December 2nd - 18th.

THE GULF By Audrey Cefaly To Open This Week At Hyde Park Theatre Photo
Street Corner Arts will present the Austin Premiere of THE GULF by Audrey Cefaly, opening at Hyde Park Theatre on December 2nd, 2022!

Review: TARTUFFE THE IMPOSTER at Texarkana Repertory Company Photo
What did our critic think of TARTUFFE THE IMPOSTER at Texarkana Repertory Company?


From This Author - Amy Tarver

      Through the years, Amy (Bradley) Tarver has been able to be apart of live theatre on stage and off.  She started out volunteering locally at Sam Bass Community Theater bef... (read more about this author)


Reviews: MACBETH Glows Bright at Pioneer Farms in Austin, TXReviews: MACBETH Glows Bright at Pioneer Farms in Austin, TX
September 23, 2022

Navigating the lantern lit path to a small traditional log cabin in Northeast Austin, the house was packed to see Archive Theater’s reimagined rendition of MACBETH. The cracked wooden windows to beat the heat, and the creative thrust staging ignited a sense of comradery for the drama needed for Shakespeare's famous Scottish play. Many are familiar with the story of MACBETH - three witches tell the Scottish general Macbeth that he will be King, resulting in murder and mayhem encouraged Lady Macbeth, the chaos quickly spirals out of control - but Archive sets the cunning mutiny during America’s civil war era. Altering places listed in the play to reference opposing sides during our nation's torrid history, mirrors the chaos and eventual bloodshed that occurs during Macbeth’s plight. The original “game of thrones” between the Macbeths and all who stand in their way is a shocking reminder of how greed and power can be a fatal elixir for the ambitious.

BWW Review: UNEXPECTED JOY at Ground Floor TheatreBWW Review: UNEXPECTED JOY at Ground Floor Theatre
December 17, 2021

Entering a theater after a two year hiatus had everyone in the house chatting, hugging, and expressing gratitude for live theatre’s return. Ground Floor has become a staple in the Austin theater community and their in-person return to the stage has been much anticipated.