The Baccalaureate Theater Company’s production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth will debut in June after months of rehearsals and preparations. Director Olivia Witting ’14 will stay true to the original script of the centuries-old tragedy, but has made use of modern costumes to create a new age version of Shakespeare’s work.
Witting and her father, Steve, who has been helping his daughter with her directorial responsibilities, chose this specific play for the Theater Company to perform. They got in touch with 12th grade English teacher Mr. Potter last summer and asked which plays he had chosen to teach during this academic year. Olivia said, “Since we were studying Macbeth in class, I thought the actors could get insights into their characters.” The majority of the cast is made up of 12th grade students and thus the actors have studied the tragedy in-depth. They have also had the chance to write about it during the IB English Exam last month.
This is not the first play the Theater Company has put on for the BSGE and local communities. Two years ago, the Company performed another Shakespeare tragedy, Julius Caesar. Many students and staff members attended the free performance. Other members of the local community were able to enjoy the production as well since it was performed at the A.R.R.O.W. Community Center near the school. Since many of the actors who were involved in Julius Caesar are also cast members of Macbeth, Olivia noted, “We can learn from the first time and fix our mistakes.”
The cast and crew have been working on this production for about four months. As most of the students involved are seniors, balancing their other responsibilities has been a bit of a challenge. Giuliana Videla ’14 said, “It’s important to come into rehearsal which is hard sometimes because you can’t hang out with friends or enjoy the weather.” Rehearsals had been a few times a week, but with opening day drawing nearer, the cast and crew are expected to work together much more often. However, it is a rewarding experience for those involved. Giuliana continued, “It is entertaining to be someone else for a while and work in an acting environment with classmates because you get to see a different side of them.”
Costumes are being rented for $45 a piece from the Kaufman Astoria Studios’ Costume Collection. Wood also had to be purchased in order to construct the set. As a result, the Company needs to offset costs with ticket sales. The price range for regular seats is $3 to $5, with the cheaper seats being further from the stage. For 7th and 8th graders, $2 seats are available in front, but they are small stools.
There will be three showings of Macbeth at A.R.R.O.W., which is located at 35-30 35th St. Astoria, NY. Opening day is June 12 at 3:30. On June 13, there will be one performance at 3:30 and a second at 6:00. Tickets are currently on sale.