Local production of ‘Macbeth’ offers chilling spree of full-fright delights
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Halloween offers witchcraft, ghouls and frightening delights, and so does “Macbeth.”
“Who doesn’t like a good sword fight,” said Stuart Handloff, director of the local production of “Macbeth,” which opens Oct. 18, and also founder and artistic director of the annual Piknik Theatre Festival performances. “Add to that the brilliance of Shakespeare’s language and a time-tested tale of greed, power and ill-gotten leadership — what could be more appropriate for today’s entertainment?”
The new fall production will be performed at 7 p.m. Oct. 18 to 20 and Oct. 25 to 27 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 846 Oak St. in downtown Steamboat Springs.
Piknik Theatre, the free outdoor summer series that offers performances by local and visiting actors involved with the Great American Laughing Stock Company, is known for its ability to polish the poetry of Shakespeare while physically performing the language to make the content accessible to modern audiences.
And Handloff said “Macbeth” is directed with that same goal in mind.
“We’re like Saturday Night Live, only instead of topical jokes, you’ll get topical drama and gore,” Handloff said.
The well-known story centers around the character of Macbeth, who is inspired by witchcraft to murder the kindly king of Scotland and usurp the throne, Handloff explained.
Ultimately, Macbeth is undone both by his own cruelty and paranoia and the prophecies of witches. Handloff hopes the production will elicit shock, awe and “ah-ha” moments.
While today’s versions of the production typically entail modern dress or locations on other planets, the Steamboat production will feature medieval costumes, swords and a church sanctuary that screams “Scottish Castle.”
The cast and crew will be offering an opportunity for local witches to be a part of the production.
The requirements? Show up in costume – preferably, Handloff advised, not black dresses with pointy hats and green faces – at the church any night of a performance at 6 p.m.
“No rehearsal is required — no lines to memorize, and no ticket purchase is required,” Handloff said. “They do have to be sober and respectful of the production and the church environment.”
The production stars a mix of local artists and professional performers from the Front Range and as far away as Atlanta. Josh Robinson will play the leading role of Macbeth, and a few of the actors are guest artists from the Steamboat Arts Academy, a new after-school acting programs for middle and high school students.
Local actors in the production include Keta Roth, from Milner, as Lady Macbeth; Larry Moore as King Duncan; and Jonah Duhe, Ann Ross and Chad McGown. Musician and composer Mike Martinez will be composing and playing original music throughout the 90-minute performance.
“I’m hoping we scare the daylights out of people,” Handloff said. “’Macbeth’ is the stuff of nightmares, and we can all relate to those.”
Tickets are $20 and available online or for sale at All That. The show is rated PG-13 for violence and adult behavior.
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