Western Herald – REVIEW: University Theatre brings Shakespearian nightmare to life
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REVIEW: University Theatre brings Shakespearian nightmare to life

John Campbell
A&E Reporter

Lachlan MacQuarrie (Macduff) and Shane Schmidt (Macbeth) star in WMU's "Macbeth" (Photo by John Lacko)

Vengeance is awakened at the D. Terry Williams Theatre in the Gilmore Theatre complex, as the University Theatre brings the classic William Shakespeare play “Macbeth” to life.

On his way home from defeating the allied forces of Norway and Ireland, Macbeth (Shane Montgomery Schmidt) is told by three witches (Hilary Jiminez, Erica Guanaca and Hilary Sussman) that he will be the King of Scotland. He writes home to his wife, Lady Macbeth (Kelsey Michelle Jackson), to tell her the news, after which Lady Macbeth talks Macbeth into killing the King of Scotland, Duncan (G. William Zorn). Through murder and other underhanded tactics, Macbeth eventually becomes King of Scotland himself.

However. another Scottish Nobleman, Macduff (Lachlan MacQuarrie), is unsure of the intentions of Macbeth.

The cast, including Nathan Sabo, James Grace, Blake W. Price, Robert Johnson, Aleksandr Krapivkin, Trevor Morgan, Nathaniel Jackson, MacGregor J. Arney, Michael Hyatt, Johnathan Nieves, Michael Mendez, Jared Jarvics, Jasmine Rose, Charlie Hall, Tamsen Glaser, Sophie Scanlon, Anna Mundo, Ali Shea and Lilliam Chechak, do an absolutely fantastic job of telling a story with their actions. With the Shakespearean language being hard for many people to fully grasp, the acting needs to be perfect to tell a story, and this “Macbeth” was full of perfection in the acting fields.

The creepiness factor of much of the show was achieved with much help by scenic designer Jacqueline K. Valdez, lighting designer Mara C. Johnson and sound designer Matthew A. Knewtson. The combination of the set, lights and sound made for many absolutely fantastically spooky moments. Lightning effects, a simple-yet-effective set and certain sound and music elements left a major impact on audience members.

Elsewhere, chalices, swords and daggers brought a feeling of authenticity to the show, as there was much action with these items including sword fights, wine spills and dagger stabbing. Costumes were similarly well-designed by Leah Smith, making the setting of Scotland seem extremely realistic.

Director Joan Herrington has put on a show that is not to be missed. The thematic elements in “Macbeth” are easy to spot and can be relevant to modern society. The intensity of the most dramatic scenes will leave audiences on the edge of their seats and keep their hearts pumping rapidly until the end of the show.

“Macbeth” can be seen at the D. Terry Williams Theatre in the Gilmore Theatre Complex on March 14, 15, 16, 21, 22 and 23 at 8 p.m. and on March 24 at 2 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the Gilmore Theatre Complex box office, online at www.wmich.edu/theatre/season/macbeth/ or by phone at 269-387-6222.

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