The North Raleigh Arts and Creative Theatre will stage a modern-dress youth-theater production of Macbeth, a timeless tragedy of ambition run amok written between 1603 and 1607 by English dramatist and poet William Shakespeare (1564-1616) and directed for NRACT by Peter Comperatore, on Sept. 9, 10, 16, 17, and 22-24 in the community theater company’s small black-box theater in Greystone Village Shopping Center in north Raleigh, NC.
“I obviously first read Macbeth in high school,” quips Peter Comperatore, “as did every other person in the country. But I didn’t gain an appreciation for it until college. I read it again for a Shakespeare class, and I was assigned to write a paper where I ‘directed a moment’ of a Shakespearean play. I chose Macbeth, and wound up creating the basis for my concept for this production. Since I wrote that paper, I have been waiting for the right time to put up this production.”
He adds, “I have been working with the teens at NRACT for four years now, and I feel it was time to challenge the teens and myself with Shakespeare. I also really liked the ability to really play as a director with Shakespeare. You can take this work and mold it and shape it anyway you want to make it new.
“I connected with Macbeth specifically because of the universality of the story,” says Peter Comperatore. “I felt that by setting it in a modern-day corporation, we can see the same type of characters in today’s world.”
Comperatore’s new and improved version of what theater insiders superstitiously call “the Scottish play” is set in a modern-day Fortune 500 company. Comperatore says, “Macbeth (Leo Brody) is a mid-level employee who quickly rises up the ranks thanks to the trust of the CEO King Duncan (Shane Dittmar). Aided by his own visions, personified as the three Witches (Brianna Gilmore, Gabby Hammond, and Eilish Urgo), and his ambitious but loving wife, Lady Macbeth (Hannah Woodcock), Macbeth decides to climb the top of the corporate ladder through murder.”
In addition to director Peter Comperatore, the North Raleigh Arts and Creative Theatre creative team for Macbeth includes producer Page Purgar, assistant directors Claire Cooper and Jasmine Hart, technical director and set designer Todd Houseknecht, costume designer Sally Kinka, and stage manager Jennifer Elmo.
Director Peter Comperatore says the cast will wear “contemporary business” attire. He adds, “The set stays true to the single flexible set in which Shakespearian plays are intended. The base set is three offices on ascending platforms that represent Macbeth’s the jobs (Thane of Glamis, Thane of Cawdor, and King). The offices create a perimeter of the set, while the foreground is open for all the other locations in the script….
“This is the first time that I and a majority of the cast have worked with Shakespeare,” Comperatore confesses. “The language is a constant challenge, as well as interpreting a show that is so dated, and moving it to a modern-day corporate setting.
“The all-teen cast has the challenge of embodying iconic literary characters,” claims Comperatore, “and not seeing them as Shakespearian characters, but rather real obtainable characters that they can bring to life.”
Director Peter Comperatore adds, “The witches are used in a very unique way in this play. They are extensions of Macbeth himself, and represent Macbeth’s three main character flaws: ambition, greed and paranoia.
“Throughout the play, Macbeth projects these three women on almost everyone he meets,” says Comperatore. “As a result, the witches are a constant presence. They are in virtually every scene, and play almost all of the smaller characters in the play.”
North Raleigh Arts and Creative Theatre presents MACBETH at 8 p.m. Sept. 9 and 10, 3 p.m. Sept. 11, Sept. 16 and 17, 3 p.m. Sept. 18, Sept. 23 and 24, and 3 p.m. Sept. 25 at 7713-51 Lead Mine Rd., Raleigh, North Carolina 27615, in Greystone Village Shopping Center.
TICKETS: $15 ($12 students and seniors 62+), except $10 Sunday matinees and discounts for groups of 15 or more.
BOX OFFICE: 919/866-0228, firstname.lastname@example.org, or https://www.vendini.com/.
The Play: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macbeth (Wikipedia).
The Playwright: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Shakespeare (Wikipedia).
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