I decided to end my college career exploring what only the University of Illinois could provide: an experience exploring the culture and arts of the University’s feature facilities like the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts and the Spurlock Museum. I lamented being cut short of the fun times I was having, but I am happy I got to take part. Dr. Collins and Dr. Robinson provided a course that broadened my horizons, taking me to performances I may not have otherwise. This stayed true into the pandemic as I was directed to online performances to compliment my education. My classmates were friendly and fun. My brief encounters with them are ones I treasure immensely and some of what I miss the most in this isolation we all suffer through today.
Hello and welcome back to my blog! This week, I used the UIUC digital theater to enjoy the classic Shakespearean masterpiece, Macbeth. In this Liverpool 2011 rendition, actor David Morrissey delivers a wondrous performance that was worthy of his role as Macbeth. Throughout the production, Morrissey’s gripping performance allows Shakespeare’s incredible storytelling to manifest.
Additionally, the set and atmosphere by Francis O’Connor provide the initial construction of the dark and somewhat haunting mood of the show. It was particularly interesting how rapid the transition was from Macbeth’s desolate battlefield to Duncan’s war-room. O’Connor, using nothing but lighting changes and a singular square table, convinced the audience of a complete and dramatic set shift.
Thank you once again for stopping by! Unfortunately, this will likely be my final event blog for the semester. I have had such an amazing time discovering novel and interesting theatrical art forms with each and every one of you this semester.
Link to performance: https://www-digitaltheatreplus-com.proxy2.library.illinois.edu/education/collections/digital-theatre/macbeth
One of Shakespeare’s most famous pieces of work “Macbeth” was produced in a play directed by Gemma Bodinetz. “Macbeth” tells the story of a man who rises to power, lets it get to his head, and ends up beheaded because of that reason. This production was viewed on Digital Theatre Plus, where one can also find multiple productions written by Shakespeare.
Written by: Lydia Amezcua-Ramirez
This play can be very confusing to understand if one is not familiar with Shakespearean language which involves modern English. Since I do not read his work I was not familiar with much of the vocabulary used in the play. A recommendation for the audience who wishes to view this production would be to read a background on the play, so that confusion does not arise. The overview on Digital Theatre Plus does not provide sufficient information on the play so I would suggest using spark-notes in order to have a good understanding of plot overview. This is what I did beforehand so that I could understand the issues among each act (there were five in total).
A Contemporary Audience
Since Shakespeare’s plays are dated back to older times, that might be an issue for entertainment purposes since it might not be as interesting as more modern plays. What I liked about this production was that the audience was able to sit alongside the stage instead of being far away from It. This way, the audience would really be able to pay attention since the performance is up close.
What I also like about the production was that it appealed to the contemporary audience by having the characters dress in both modern and ancient costuming, which provided a balance for the viewers. For example, the witches wore ancient, beige, wrinkly gowns along with holding sticks. As for modern clothing, Macbeth would start out wearing modern costuming consisting of black pants and a long sleeve button up shirt.
Also, given that the play is on Digital Theatre Plus, it makes it accessible for people to view if they are interested in Shakespeare instead of having to pay for seeing It or take the longer route and read about It. The production definitely makes it easier for one to view because of the subtitles that go along with it as well as going back to a scene if one was not able to understand it the first time around.
The Overall Conflict
Macbeth wished to overthrow the king of Scotland, King Duncan, due to the trio of witches telling him “All hail Macbeth” at the beginning of the play, indicating that he would become king soon. Macbeth was a general of a battle which succeeded and he was then rewarded by being named thane of Cawdor. Soon after, Macbeth took matters into his own hands to make what the witches had told him possible. Alongside this decision was his wife, who persuaded Macbeth to kill King Duncan in his sleep.
The blood on his hands was attention grabbing which aided the storytelling because one can easily assume something tragic has happened. If there was not any blood, it would have been harder to tell that Macbeth killed the king. It was in this very scene that he said “Macbeth shall sleep no more”. The guilt of killing someone would be that very thing keeping him up at night because his conscience would not be able to handle such weight.
This scene depicts the uniqueness of costuming. Macbeth had dressed himself in what was the old king’s clothing. The crown especially is something that we do not see in modern times which makes one analyze it more. This type of costuming helps aid the storytelling because of the role that Macbeth was now fulfilling.
Overall, the production was an eye opener for me because I had never seen one of Shakespeare’s plays before. I would recommend viewing this play because it gives one the opportunity to expand their range of productions. It can be a good change for one to step out of their comfort zone and view things they normally would not because at the end they might enjoy it !