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Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Stone Bridge High School Macbeth

By • Dec 17th, 2013 • Category: Cappies

The lights black out. The music is cued. The curtains are drawn. However, the audience pauses to burst into applause as the potently solemn sentiment of another tragedy hitting the already desolate apocalyptic southern location of Stone Bridge High School’s Macbeth washes over the auditorium. This famous Shakespearian tragedy first performed for King James I in early 17th century, follows the journey of Macbeth (Ryan Bateman) as he moves up the ranks to become king of the land. Upon receiving prophecies from three witches as he and Banquo (Sierra Carlson) return home as war heroes, Macbeth and his power-hungry wife, Lady Macbeth (Elizabeth Morton), plot to murder in order to make this a reality. An unbelievable fate becomes an unthinkable reality as Macbeth spills the blood of the royal Duncan and releases a chaos of murder, distrust, insanity, guilt, and darkness that lead him to his ultimate doom.

Leading the cast, Bateman’s portrayal of Macbeth complimented the stylistic theme of the play. Bateman reflected this unique Macbeth as a desperate, poor southern American in this futuristic, tumultuous land perfectly even when he first stepped on the stage. His embodiment of that themed archetype and energy brought the show to another level. Morton’s portrayal of Bateman’s opposite was enticing to watch as her raw instincts and choices were presented. The audience was carried on the emotional journey of Lady Macbeth as Morton subtly morphed her to the point of insanity. Though only heavily featured in the first three acts, Carlson’s performance as Banquo stole the show. The stage presence and naturalness of Carlson was astounding as she displayed a maturity in her craft beyond her years. Ian Peterson’s performance as Lord MacDuff was wonderfully heart-breaking as the audience could feel his despair permeate the air. The dedication, commitment, and thought Peterson made to his performance were clearly evident. The supporting actors of this production truly stole my attention and admiration.

The thought, emotion, and high-caliber of the backstage aspects of this show were above that of a typical high school performance. Adam Weiss’ composition for this production was hauntingly wonderful. He embodied the story and meaning so well that one could potentially only listen to his music for this show and still gain the full meaning and power of Macbeth. Sierra Carlson’s props, Aliya Qureshi’s hair and makeup, and Elizabeth Morton’s costumes all also displayed the same depth in consideration and portrayal of the story. Each piece was done intricately and interestingly so that it grabbed the audience’s eye yet congealed together to create unity in the atmosphere and style. The sound was easily heard throughout the show and the pre-recorded effects added an interesting and chilling twist to this stage play. It is very rare as much meaning and purpose put into technical aspects as Stone Bridge put in their production and the impact of this was powerful and deeply appreciated.

Stone Bridge High School’s interpretation of Macbeth is easily one of the most avant-garde Shakespeare productions on a high school stage. The time and dedication put into this show was truly evident and carried by the actors and technicians full-heartedly which allowed the modern style and tradition of Shakespeare to morph well. They have definitely achieved the chilling effect of a tragedy as a continued vision of the “golden round” moving on and on will surely continue to follow the audience members outside of the theater.

by Tessa Youngner of Heritage High School

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