Friday, September 17, 2010

Shakespeare's Macbeth, in a colonial setting

Today and tomorrow are the last performances of "Macbeth: A Colonial Tragedy," the latest presentation of the three-year-old Garfield Shakespeare Company. The shows will be at 8 p.m. in the MacAllister Center of Performing Arts amphitheater in Garfield Park, Indianapolis.

These images were taken at the show's opening night, Friday, Sept. 10, 2010. Director Thomas Cardwell's production is set in pre-revolutionary war America, hence the "colonial" reference in the title.

The picture at the top is in the second half of the production, a dramatic scene when Macbeth, played by Eric MacDonald, has a disturbing vision in which he sees a procession of kings from the lineage of his onetime friend Banquo, as prophesied by the three witches.

Best thing about the shows: They're free!

A full gallery of images from my shoot of "Macbeth" is available at my online site at

The three witches -- or "weird sisters," as Macbeth refers to them in the play -- during a dance while concocting a brew. Their prophesies are key elements in the play: That Macbeth would become Thane of Cawdor, putting him first in line to succeed King Duncan; that Banquo, Thane of Lochaber, would never sit in the throne, although Banquo's lineage would assume the throne, a prediction that would disturb Macbeth and, along with Lady Macbeth's goading, motivate him to kill Banquo, his onetime friend; that Macbeth would never be harmed by anyone "born of woman"; and that Macbeth should beware of Macduff, Thane of Fife, whose family and servants are put to death at Macbeth's direction. Macduff eventually kills Macbeth after divulging to Macbeth a shocking technicality that enables Macduff to circumvent the witches' pronouncement: Macduff says he was not naturally "born of woman" (through the birth canal), but was "ripped" from his mother's womb (Cesarean section).

King Duncan, played by Stephen Scull, talking to Lady Macbeth. Later in the drama, Duncan is slain by Macbeth.

Lady Macbeth, played by Meagan Matlock, trying to persuade her husband to kill the king so he can take over the throne.

Macbeth, in blood-stained shirt, during a tortuous reflection in the aftermath of his late-night slaying of King Duncan in the king's chambers.

Macbeth and Banquo, played by Charles DiGiovanna, converse in a scene after Macbeth had killed King Duncan. Not longer after, Banquo would be slain at Macbeth's direction, although Banquo's son Fleance -- also an assassination target -- would escape, allowing the fulfillment of the witches' prophecy that a long line of Banquo's lineage would ascend the throne.

Macbeth's onetime friend Banquo (left), returning as a ghost -- seen only by his slayer Macbeth -- at a banquet, a scene befuddling everyone else at the table who cannot understand why Macbeth is raging at an empty chair.

Lady Macduff, played by Melissa Mowat, shortly before she and her child are killed at the direction of Macbeth, who is trying to heed the witches' prediction to beware of the exiled Macduff.

Macduff, played by Nick Henry, announcing the beheading of Macbeth.

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