ASP Presents MACBETH and EQUIVOCATION

ASP Presents MACBETH and EQUIVOCATION

Actors' Shakespeare Project kicks off their 15th Season with Macbeth and Equivocation in rotating repertory at the United Parish in Brookline. Performances September 26 - November 11 (Press Performance for Macbeth: Saturday, September 28, 8:00 PM; Press Performance for Equivocation: Friday, October 12, 7:30 PM), The Sanctuary, United Parish, 210 Harvard Street, Brookline. For more information visit actorsshakespeareproject.org.

Macbeth follows a man's descent into violent ambition, spurred on by love and the supernatural. Once a noble lord, Macbeth is drawn into betrayal and murder by a witch's prophecy. Lady Macbeth, his loving wife and ruthless partner, urges him forward. With a simple story, Shakespeare unravels the complexities of power and desire, creating a world without heroes.

Macbeth is the world premiere of a new verse translation by playwright Migdalia Cruz. This translation is part of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival's Play on! Project, a national initiative engaging diverse playwright and dramaturg teams with the goal of broadening access for contemporary audiences. Approximately 80% of the original heightened language remains while obsolete words and complex phrases are adapted for contemporary understanding. ASP is excited to be a part of the national conversation around the power of Shakespeare's language and our relationship to his plays. This production seeks to spur lively conversation around language, text, and accessibility and is part of ASP's deepened commitment to diversity and inclusivity. www.playonosf.org/about/

Dawn Meredith Simmons, Artistic Director of the Front Porch Arts Collective, and recently appointed Executive Director of StageSource, directs Macbeth. "This play is one of my earliest

artistic influences, both in my hometown of Buffalo, when I saw it in the catacombs of the Buffalo Public Library at 15 and again when working on the all female version, here at ASP as assistant AD. Never in my lifetime did I think I would be asked to direct this show," says Simmons. "I have always been fascinated by the driving forces of ambition and love and what happens to us when those drives combine."

Resident Acting Company cast members include Steven Barkhimer* (Duncan, Porter) and Maurice Parent* (Banquo). Other cast members include Nael Nacer* (Macbeth), Paige Clark* (Lady Macbeth), Ed Hoopman* (Macduff), Kai Tshikosi (Malcolm), Jade Guerra (Lady Macduff), Alex Cassillas (Ross), Trinidad Ramkissoon (Lennox) and Shanelle Villegas (Fleance). Additional roles played by members of the ensemble.

The design and production team includes Jon Savage** (Scenic), Laura Hildebrand (Lighting), Rachel Padula-Shufeldt (Costumes), Elizabeth Cahill (Sound), Joe Stallone (Props), Suzanne MacDonald (Dramaturg), Jesse Hinson* (Violence), Christine Hamel* (Vocal Coach), Marsha Smith* (Stage Manager), Lauren Burke* (Assistant Stage Manager) and Deb Sullivan (Production Manager).

Equivocation runs in rotating rep with Macbeth, with five of Equivocation's cast members also performing in Macbeth. The plays were intentionally selected to be in conversation with one another.

In Equivocation, local playwright Bill Cain transports audiences to 1605 London. Playwright William "Shagspeare's" career is on the edge when the King commissions a play: the "true history" of the Gunpowder Plot. Forced to write a propaganda piece (with witches, the King demands), Shagspeare must face his own artistic motivations and learn what it means to write the truth in dangerous times.

ASP Artistic Director Christopher V. Edwards directs this regional premiere. "Equivocation is a play that looks directly at the idea of speaking truth to power and how to avoid being a mouthpiece for a propagandist agenda that you don't agree wi. How do you connect your life to your art and let it be your truth?"

Resident Acting Company cast members include Steven Barkhimer* (Shagspeare) and Maurice Parent* (Robert Cecil). Other cast members include Nael Nacer* (Richard Burbage), Ed Hoopman* (Sharpe), Kai Tshikosi (Armin) and Kimberly Gaughan (Judith). Additional roles played by members of the ensemble.

The design and production team include designers Jon Savage** (Scenic), Laura Hildebrand (Lighting), Jessica Pribble (Costumes), Elizabeth Cahill (Sound), Joe Stallone (Props), Caley Chase (Dramaturg), Marsha Smith* (Stage Manager), Lauren Burke* (Assistant Stage Manager) and Deb Sullivan (Production Manager).

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