Cursed ‘Scottish Play’ to bring tragedy to the theater

Posted on May 6 2014 - 2:22am by Kels Mejlaender

It is the tragedy so feared that every play lover in a theater knows to call it “The Scottish Play” — and it has come to Pacific Lutheran University. “Macbeth” is one of William Shakespeare’s most famous works, and next week the School of Arts and Communication will premiere PLU’s take on the tragedy.

Assistant stage manager and junior Catherine Brassey (left) rehearses a scene from “Macbeth” with sophomore Jessi Marlow (right), who plays Lady MacDuff. Photo by Jesse Major.

Assistant stage manager and junior Catherine Brassey (left) rehearses a scene from “Macbeth” with sophomore Jessi Marlow (right), who plays Lady MacDuff. Photo by Jesse Major.

Senior Kraig Partridge stars as the titular Macbeth, a Scottish lord who becomes obsessed with a prophecy foreseeing his kingship and chooses murder as his route to the throne. Lady Macbeth, portrayed by junior Amelia Heath, is the ruthless and cunning wife of Macbeth who urges him on to power.

The stage manager for “Macbeth,” senior Mariah Madden, said the actors are putting a lot of hard work into the play and are getting a lot of emotional pull out of it.

“I think people will be impressed with the skill we’re putting into it,” Madden said. “I think they’ll be really moved by the story.”

Madden said she hopes the play will get people interested in Shakespeare.

“It [‘Macbeth’] holds a lot more power when you actually see a really good production of it,” Madden said, “and I think what we’re doing is some really good work.”

Madden also spoke about the curse of “Macbeth.”

“The idea is that you say ‘Macbeth’ on stage in the theater and things go horribly, horribly wrong,” Madden said. She said she was in high school when she dared to speak the name in the theater. Afterward, a light fixture fell and then all the microphones went out.

So far, PLU’s production has only suffered a few nosebleeds, because everyone is careful. If someone says it while performing “Macbeth,” Madden said, it isn’t as bad.

While she said some are superstitious about christening the Karen Hille Phillips Center for the Performing Arts with “Macbeth,” but everyone is grateful for the new space.

Madden commended Lori Lee Wallace, an assistant professor of theater, for bringing out the best in the actors.

“I think she’s really tapping into something that I don’t think these students knew they had in them,” Madden said. “She has a way of pushing them to do everything they absolutely can that’s special.”

Thursday at 7:30 p.m. there is a free student preview of the play. Friday and Saturday’s performances begin at 7:30 p.m. The show’s final performances are May 16 and May 17 at 7:30 p.m. with a matinee performance at 2 p.m. May 18. Each performance will take place in the Karen Hille Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.

***For more information, visit the Facebook page “Macbeth.” Tickets are available at the Campus Concierge in the AUC or by calling 253-535-7411. Tickets will be available at the door for cash only.***