Jun 20, 2019

Crowned with wickedness

Action, evil and wickedness take center stage in “Macbeth,
Shaun Ho / The Collegian

Shakespeare’s classic power struggle between good and evil gets a new twist in Fresno State’s last play of the season, “Macbeth.”

Director Edward EmanuEl presents the updated classic with more action, excitement and wickedness that he hopes will excite and entice audiences.

“The production is a violent one. Evil is violent. The level of evil that “Macbeth” conjures up was designed to shock Shakespeare’s audience. We will attempt to do the same 400 years later,” EmanuEl said.

Dana Cooper, stage manager for the production describes EmanuEl’s imaginative vision for the play.

“Violent scenes in Shakespeare are nothing to us,” Cooper said. “He’s capitalizing on the spectacle and making it more visually appealing. There’ll be tons of blood, violence and evil things.”

The play, which was originally composed in the 17th century, follows the struggles of Macbeth as he strives for the throne attempting to take fate into his own hands throughout the journey. It has become one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays, with almost 50 movie versions alone.

The leading role will be played by Eric Day, a theatre instructor at University High School.

“It chronicles the realization that a man’s fate he cannot control, it is already sealed,” said Day, a Fresno State graduate.

University Theatre produced six performances this season and has been working on “Macbeth” since the beginning of the spring semester.

“We began casting in late January and rehearsals started in early March,” said Cooper, who acts as the communicator between the designers, director and actors. “I’m in charge of managing everything that happens at rehearsals.”

The University Theatre cast and crew primarily consists of Fresno State students. There are a few participants in “Macbeth” who are not students including Day, Dr. Tim Skeen, a poetry professor who will play a priest, and Jim Schlievert, another Fresno State alumnus who will play King Duncan.

The show will run May 4-6 and May 8-12 in the John Wright Theatre. Tickets are $8 for Fresno State students and can be purchased at the University Theatre Box Office.

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