CSULB Strips Down Macbeth to Reveal Raw Emotion

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CSULB Theatre Arts Department’s University Players presents: Shakespeare in the Raw: Macbeth, directed by Elizabeth Swain. Playing Tuesday, October 13th through October 25th, Shakespeare in the Raw: Macbeth portrays the Bard’s hauntingly infamous play in a bare-bones theatrical experience.

This production of Macbeth will be done in the ‘raw,’ with no show-specific technical support. That means that the stage will be mostly bare; no lighting, sound, or production design and definitely no period-piece costumes. All of the focus in this production is on the actors, text, and story. The experience is guided by Swain’s classical theatre expertise: “The audience, I hope, will become engaged in a deeper way. My experience of such cut down productions is that the play becomes very clear, yet more is left to the imagination of the audience.”

One of Shakespeare’s darkest tragedies, the play focuses on the Scottish nobleman Macbeth and his wife, and what happens when ambition fuels their actions. When Macbeth makes a choice that has dire consequences, Swain hopes that the audience will reflect on their own choices in life. As Macbeth weighs the options of giving in to the inescapable doom or fighting to the end, the audience is given time to consider whether having patience or selfishly trying to control fate are better paths to take. Shakespeare is still performed today because his plays timelessly create empathy between characters and the audience. Swain says themes of “thwarted love, the dictates of honor, corrupt politics, blind ambition, moral blindness, passionate pursuit of the romantic, and so on, endlessly…” still resonate with modern audiences.

Elizabeth Swain is a British actor, director, and teacher with a passion for classical theatre. Her many directing credits include, A Midsummer Night’s Dream at CSULB (2009), King John at Antaeus Classicsfest, and Macbeth at New York State Theatre Institute. She is delighted to once again be directing CSULB students in a University Theatre production.

Shakespeare in the Raw: Macbeth opens Tuesday October 13th and closes on October 25th. Performances run October 13th – October 17th and October 20th – October 24th at 8pm, matinee performances October 17th, 18th, 24th, and 25th, at 2pm, and early evening performances October 18th and 25th at 6pm. This production is presented in the Players Theatre on the CSULB Campus, accessible via West Campus Drive. Tickets are $17 for general admission and $14 for students, seniors, and military (with valid ID). Convenient parking is available next to the theatre for $5. For tickets and additional information please call (562) 985-5526 or visit calrep.org.

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