This July, audiences are following Macbeth’s journey as he moves from ambition to murder in pursuit of the crown, aided by three witches and his wife, Lady Macbeth.
The Rochester Community Players: Shakespeare Program is presenting this play, directed by Jean Gordon Ryon, for its 25th anniversary season as the summer Highland Bowl production.
Performances are running at 8 p.m. through July 27, except on July 22. A sign language interpreted program is set for July 26.
Macbeth is a hero when he helps put down a rebellion against the reigning monarch. When three witches prophesize he will become king, however, Macbeth makes the prediction come true by assassinating the monarch he had defended and taking the crown himself.
This act sets in motion a chain reaction of violence. To hide his crime, Macbeth keeps killing until all of Scotland runs in blood. He can never rest easy and returns to the witches for knowledge he hopes will give him peace.
“Our production of ‘Macbeth’ takes place in medieval Scotland, a world just emerging from the Dark Ages, where civilization is underscored with violence and ruthlessness, and sinister unknowable elements toy with the destinies of men,” Ryon said. “Blood flows freely and fear reigns when Scottish lords seize power instead of earning it. The play is both an action-packed thriller and a fascinating psychological study. Macbeth finds that when he is forced to live a lie, his life becomes worthless.”
The abstract set, designed by Ken Dauer, becomes multiple settings of the play. Staging this production outdoors allows the natural darkening of light to parallel the darkening of the story and lends significance to the surrounding trees during the play’s final battle.
The production is presented at the Highland Bowl, 1137 South Ave., and hosted by the Monroe County Parks Department. Admission is free; donations support the production. Refreshments are available for purchase.
A limited number of benches are provided each night for seating. Audience members can bring a lawn chair or blanket and bug spray. This play is suitable for all ages. Visit rochestercommunityplayers.org for information.