Tag Archives: shakespeare

Macbeth, Reminds Me of the Good Ol Days

By Jacob M Rominger

Artistic Director Gemma Bodinetz presentation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth in Liverpool is a pleasant combination of modern and traditional that comforts the solitary.

The performance: https://www-digitaltheatreplus-com.proxy2.library.illinois.edu/education/collections/digital-theatre/macbeth

Not exactly Scottish but here is some local art I keep on my wall of the Irish Ogham script.

The Merchant of Venice: A Relevant Comedy

The Merchant of Venice is Polly Findlay’s adaptation of the play written by William Shakespeare. The performance took place in Stratford-upon-Avon, but I watched the performance online through Digital Theatre Plus. The play is a complex tale of money, greed, and prejudice; Antonio, an antisemitic, takes out a loan from the Jew Shylock, which he cannot afford to repay.

Written By: Zackarya Faci

The first thing to note is the language used throughout the performance. It is reminiscent of 16th-century English and stays true to the language used in the original play. While it required more attention to fully grasp what the actors were saying, it was still understandable and enjoyable. One thing that veered from the original play is the costume choice. A much more modern dress was used–which I believe made this play more enjoyable and feel like a newly created work. Also, the contrast of how the actors dressed and spoke added a unique and memorable element.

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Macbeth

Tyler Tubbs

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

(Make up Event) The Tempest: Magic and Power Dynamics

The Tempest is widely known as one of Shakespeare’s plays. It is a story where magic is one of the main elements.I watched a production of Shakespeare’s world renowned production of the Tempest on the Digital Theatre + website. This play was performed live by the Royal Shakespeare Company with the help of Intel and the Imaginarium Studios. 

By Elena Grantcharski

I will start off by being honest and saying that I generally am not a huge Shakespeare fan. I respect and appreciate his work but I have never been interested in the Shakespeare works that I have read in high school. His writing style is generally not for me. However, something I really do love is magic. I have never read or watched The Tempest and I was surprised by how much I actually liked it. I really enjoyed the magic aspect of the play. The play is about Prospero, an older man with magical powers and a very beautiful daughter. 

The main character Prospero, and his daughter Miranda.
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Reinterpretation of Romeo and Juliet

Written by Zeying Lang

Poster retrieved from https://www.rsc.org.uk/romeo-and-juliet/

What if the person your love is from the family that you are supposed to hate. What if the love of you is forbidden and strongly against by all your families. Would the love be as passionate and pure, or would you call it the doomed faith for love and leave…

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A Shakespeare Tragedy: 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

The opening scene where the 3 witches foretell the beginning of the play.

Shakespeare language

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).

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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.

Macbeth after killing King Duncan, shown by the overwhelming amount of blood on his hands.

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.

Macbeth crowned the king after murdering King Duncan.

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.

Macbeth’s death scene where he is beheaded with a sword.

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 !

The Tempest: Liberation and Exhilaration (Make-up event)

An all-female version of The Tempest starring Harriet Walter as Prospero was directed by Phyllida Lloyd, captivating reimagining explores themes of freedom and justice in a women prison.

By Jiaxuan Meng

“Exhilarating…Ecstatic Energy…The most entertaining ‘Tempest’ I have ever seen…”

-Ben Brantley, The New York Times Critics
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The Merchant of Venice: A Comedy About Humanity (make-up event)

The Merchant of Venice is an adaptation from William Shakespeare’s famous comedy of the same name. It tells a story about an antisemitic merchant in Venice named Antonio who could repay the loan he took from a Jewish moneylender named Shylock. The production was about 130 minutes in total and was captured live in Stratford-upon-Avon. I watched this online via Digital Theatre Plus.

Antonio, Shylock, and Bassanio (A screenshot from Act I)

Written by: Yushan Guo

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