Shakespeare under the stars presents: Macbeth

Sophia Goodwin, Editor

On May 16, the Stephen Decatur High School Theatre Department held their annual Shakespeare Under the Stars in the Gladys C. Burbage Courtyard theatre, presenting “Macbeth” by William Shakespeare. The play was edited by Barbara A. Mowat and Paul Werstine, and was directed by theatre teacher Brandon Michael Cater. In the play, three witches meet with Macbeth, telling him that he will become the Thane of Cawdor, a local royal official, and eventually king. After hearing the news, Lady Macbeth encourages and persuades him to follow through in killing the current king in hopes to fulfill the role. Macbeth’s desires lead him to a path of murder and deception. In the end, he suffers the consequences of his actions. 

Former Shakespeare Under the Stars performances include, “Romeo and Juliet,” “Julius Caesar,” and “Comedy of Errors.” The theatre department took a bit of a modern twist on their performance, noting in the pamphlet provided, “the similarities “Macbeth” has to “Game of Thrones” a very popular HBO series in its final season [Game of Thrones] are uncanny!” It is safe to say that the similarities were there, and they did not disappoint.  

Senior Josh Miller played the role of Macbeth while having only been in theatre for half as many shows as the other cast members. Miller was remarkable, displaying a great shift in emotions. His facial expressions were eerily extravagant, keeping the audience intrigued. Senior Sarah Bianca portrayed Lady Macbeth. Bianca’s diction and tone were enough to keep the audience on the edge of their seats. She displayed a pure and raw sense of emotion. Although the seniors obtained most major roles, the underclassmen were just as vital to the play. With a mix of freshman, sophomores, and juniors, they allowed the audience to feel the intimacy and conflict between the characters.  The cast managed to successfully overcome the obstacles that come with an outdoor performance.  

Performing outside can appear as a challenge to some, leaving everyone vulnerable to distractions and weather. Whether it was a car revving their engine, birds and geese chirping to one another, or audience members moving throughout the performance, they upheld their vocal projection and bodily movements, allowing the show to continue. By the end of the play, the cast received an overwhelming round of well-deserved applause. Another round of applause goes to the unsung heroes of the play, the technical crew. The technical crew had jobs that varied from students being stage managers, technical director head of lights and sound, front of house, and head of costume to hair and makeup, props, head of construction, set crew, scenic painting and grips. Without any one of these jobs, the production would not have been made possible or a memorable experience.  

Overall, “Macbeth” was a wonderfully transformative experience. It was altogether interactive and wickedly sensational.  Brandon Michael Cater and the cast and crew of Macbeth” can add another outstanding performance to their repertoire