Alex Dumas, Sadie Holbrook, and Jordan Swiridowsky, rehearse for their parts of the three witches in Macbeth.
The High School students at Keene Central School will bring the Shakesperian tragedy, “Macbeth,” to life on March 30.
“The audience will be blown away by the energy level of the students throughout the performance,” Keene Central School Social Studies teacher and director Brad Hurlburt said.
The reenactment of the medieval tragedy by the cast of 25 high school students is sure to surprise the audience members, Hurlburt said.
“It’s a very dark and catharsis purging of excess emotion,” Ben Ellis, Keene Central School English teacher, faculty director and an actor in the production said. “This isn’t a play for everyone, especially young children.”
The play is full of very powerful themes including the supernatural, sword fights, murder, deceit, and death. Ellis said the play will be a “true tragedy”
“It’s a very redemptive play,” Hurlburt said. “Through tragedy, it helps us realize what is most important, and what we want to celebrate in our lives.”
“Macbeth,” is Shakespeare’s shortest tragedy. It tells the story of a general named Macbeth who receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become King of Scotland. He and his wife, Lady Macbeth, go into action to do whatever it takes to make the prophecy come true. Once king, his reign is racked with guilt and paranoia and he continues to commit more and more murders to protect his throne.
Ellis and Hurlburt attribute the plays success to a mature and talented group of actors that participated in the play.
“We can only run this because we have such a gifted cast,” Ellis said.
The lead character, Junior Sam Balzac, is said to be a captivating Macbeth by his directors.
Due to the small student body at Keene Central school, several faculty members are participating in the play, teacher Harry Fine acts as the Scottish King Duncan. Hurlburt said with a production of this size, he and Ellis have had students play multiple parts and added faculty members to the cast.
“A production of this magnitude requires a big cast and with a small school we’ve risen to the challenge to fill all spots in house,” Hurlburt said.
To set the scene not just for the script but the scene in which Shakespeare wrote the play to be performed, Hurlburt said audience members should expect to experience the actors working with the shadows and the sort of lighting to be found in a Shakespeare play acted out on the 1600’s.
“You wouldn’t have seen florescent lighting on a Shakespeare play, so we have taken the time to perfect the lighting to give us the effect we want,” Hurlburt said.
The stage will also be very “organic,” with props made from driftwood and metal found in the woods in Keene.
“We wanted a very organic and minimalistic feel to everything and we have been able to find great pieces to work with,” Hurlburt said.
The play will open Friday March 30 at the Keene Central School auditorium at 7 p.m. an encore performance will also be held Saturday, March 31, at 7 p.m.