Macbeth’s Lobby Display

by Jessa Cunningham, dramaturg

If you came and saw our production of Macbeth here at BYU last week or the week before, you would have seen this outside in the lobby: IMG_4875

If you looked closely, you would see that the sign reads: “Beware Macbeth’s Story! Do you have something (a fear, worry, etc.) that takes up time in your life? Write it down and throw it into the cauldron to get rid of it. Don’t let it consume your life like some of the characters in the play!”

This was an interesting exercise in which many audience members participated. The things written on the little bits of paper ranged from the silly all the way to the serious and personal. It was wonderful seeing the audience engage with the show and apply the themes and lessons to their own lives. Hopefully it served as a therapeutic exercise of sorts, and some people were able to relieve themselves of the worry they feel. Continue reading

Drums and Puppetry in Macbeth

by Jessa Cunningham, dramaturg

macbeth-1140x600-1024x539This production of Macbeth is unique in and of itself. However, something that certainly sets it apart from other productions is our director, Teresa Love, and her decision to make drumming and puppetry and integral element in the show.

Many members of the cast will take turns drumming during the show, so Teresa brought in drum consultant Nes Andersen to do some workshops. During his time with the group, he gave them the opportunity to get comfortable with the drums and do some fun exercises. It looks like everyone had a great time! Our wonderful stage manager, MK, took some videos of the workshop, of which you can see one below. Does it get you excited to see how the drumming will be incorporated into the show? Continue reading

Macbeth vs. Macbeth

by Jessa Cunningham, dramaturg

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William Shakespeare based the titular character of his–some might say spookiest– play on an actual figure from Scottish history. However, he took some creative license in his portrayal of the king, changing some facts and traits to make the story more compelling to his audience. Let’s take a look at some of the similarities and differences between Mac Bethad mac Findlaich (the real Macbeth) and Shakespeare’s character:

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What is BYU Young Company?

by Jessa Cunningham, dramaturg

11187803_934517939916641_6821388596940476466_oOne of the coolest things about this production of Macbeth is that after the show closes at BYU, it will play other places for a while. That’s right, the cast of this show will go on tour, and visit many different elementary schools in the area over the course of a couple months! That way, more children are reached and get to see these famous Shakespeare characters come to life! That’s all thanks to the BYU Young Company.

What is Young Company? It’s a training ground for both actors and training artists that want to work in theatre for young audiences. They facilitate interaction with children of all ages, and get them involved and excited about theatre with the shows they perform. Each year, the Young Company performs for more than 16,000 young people! They oftentimes do workshops and activities in the schools they visit, which help to nurture a strong relationship with the audiences they meet.

This year, they have decided to bring Shakespeare’s Macbeth to life, and it couldn’t be cooler. The actors, designers, and director are all working incredibly hard so this show touches all who see it. They are making something truly special for the children– you won’t want to miss it!  It will be a treat for everyone involved.

During the run of the show, you’ll come to get to know the members of the cast and others involved with the show, so keep in touch! Continue reading

All Hail Macbeth!

by Jessa Cunningham, dramaturg

Do you hear the beating of the drums off in the distance? Macbeth and his troops are approaching. Brace yourself for his arrival! Prepare yourself for the danger that Macbeth brings!

You’re in for a real treat this February here at BYU; Young Company is producing one of Shakespeare’s most famous play: Macbeth. It’ll be a play full of fighting, witchcraft, paranoia, ghosts, and so much more. You won’t want to miss this show– the cast is working hard on making sure this production is engaging for audiences of all ages!

Here on this blog, I will keep you updated on important things that relate to the show. This could include but is not limited to rehearsal updates, historical background information, educational and important tidbits, and cast highlights. If you want to stay in touch with what is happening with the show before it goes up, check back here frequently! I will work hard to keep you in the know.

macbeth2 Continue reading