Photo Flash: Tennessee Shakespeare Company Presents MACBETH
Tennessee Shakespeare Company opens the doors of its new home prior to full facility renovation with a production of William Shakespeare's tragedy Macbeth inspired by the Elizabethan playhouses and current events that helped create it in 1606.
Directed by TSC Founder and Producing Artistic Director Dan McCleary and acted by a company of nine professional actors, Macbeth performs across three weeks from October 18 - November 4 and is generously sponsored by C. Cato Ealy.
All performances take place at Tennessee Shakespeare Company, located at 7950 Trinity Road, Memphis 38018-6297. To purchase tickets or more information, go to www.tnshakespeare.org or call TSC's Box Office at (901) 759-0604 between 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday.
Employing structural elements from Shakespeare's Rose, Globe, and Blackfriars Playhouses, TSC's theatre will feature a timber and balcony structure within its largest performance space (the future Owen and Margaret Wellford Tabor Stage). Audiences will recognize the structure, framing, and actor-audience intimacy from London's Globe Playhouse and the film Shakespeare in Love.
The theatre will be in place all fall/winter as part of TSC's exploratory Elizabethan Rep Season, which will feature a large cast production of As You Like It following Macbeth. The design also will pilot a future permanent stage configuration, that would be flexible, as well as assist with acoustics and provide outstanding audience sight-lines.
In addition to the scenic construction, which will cast playhouse walls up behind the audience, the costume design takes its inspiration from Shakespeare's period, and the music of Shakespeare's stage will be played live on stage with traditional instruments. Combat weapons will also take their cue from both the early 17th and 11th Centuries.
TSC's production imagines Shakespeare reaching even further back, to the origins of theatre in Greece as well as Celtic mysticism, in creating a story of national tyranny to which a country's citizens must respond.
"Greek theatre featured an altar for sacrifice and a Chorus to ensure the city's people had a voice that was heard," says McCleary. "The witches are our masked Chorus, and a sacrifice is offered to cleanse a world of crimes against humanity. The sacrifice is a man who Shakespeare clearly defines as noble, generous, un-ambitious, indecisive, overly kind, incapable of lying with skill, morally incapable of imagining his own corruption or wrong-doing, courageous, patriotic, regretful, and a good husband and friend. Macbeth is the best of us. What is horrific is that we might be able to explain how he becomes the very worst of us."
The cast is led by veteran TSC actors Paul Kiernan* (Waiting for Godot, Henry V, Twelfth Night, Richard III, The Taming of the Shrew) and Caley Milliken* (A Midsummer Night's Dream, Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar, The Tempest) as the Macbeths.
Joining them on stage are founding members Gabriel Vaughan* (Macduff) and Michael Khanlarian (Banquo), also Nic Picou (Malcolm), Sara Malinowski (Ross), Dave Demke* (King Duncan), Blake Currie (Lenox/Seyton), and Claire Hayner (Lady Macduff).
The design team includes scenic designer Brian Ruggaber, costume designer DeAnna Rowe, lighting designer Jeremy Fisher, early music director and player Zak Ozmo, dance/movement choreographer Caley Milliken, and fight choreographer Edgar Landa.
The production stage manager is Melissa April Nathan* with assistant stage manager Leanna Keyes. Stephanie Shine* is the female cover.
Special guest Donny Culver will welcome patrons to TSC's new theatre with Scottish tunes played on the highland pipes.
General Admission tickets are $39. Performances are Thursday-Saturday at 7:00 pm, and Sunday at 3:00 pm.
The October 18 Preview tickets are $19. The October 25 and November 1 performances are Free Will Kids' Nights: up to four children 17 years and younger are admitted free when accompanied by a paying/attending guardian (call the Box Office to secure Free Will tickets). Senior discounts (62+): $34. Student discounts (18+): $19.
October 19 is Opening Night, which welcomes patrons to a post-show reception with the actors.
Free Parking. No refunds/exchanges. Cast and schedule subject to change with notice.
TSC's generous season sponsors include ArtsMemphis; FedEx; the family of Ernest G. and Pat Kelly; Nancy R. Copp; C. Cato Ealy; International Paper; Tennessee Arts Commission; the family of Owen and Margaret Wellford Tabor; Barbara B. Apperson Angel Fund; International Paper; Evans/Petree, P.C.; Independent Bank; Arts Midwest; and The National Endowment for the Arts. TSC's season is funded under a Grant Contract with the State of Tennessee.
Photo Credit: Joey Miller
Michael Khanlarian, Paul Kiernan, and the Witches
Paul Kiernan with the Witches
Paul Kiernan and Gabriel Vaughan