Georgia Shakespeare wraps up its 2012 season with a thrilling production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, produced in partnership with NBAF (National Black Arts Festival) and presented by Fifth Third Bank, on stage October 4 to 28, 2012, at the Conant Performing Arts Center on the campus of Oglethorpe University. Nationally renowned theatre artist Raelle Myrick-Hodges directs the production, which features a predominantly African-American cast and commemorates the 75th anniversary of Orson Welles’ dynamic 1936 Voodoo Macbeth. Opening Night is Friday, Oct. 5, 2012 at 8 p.m. Tickets are available by calling 404-504-1473 or online at www.gashakespeare.org.
Welles’ seminal production, produced as a part of the Federal Theater Project, was set in Haiti and featured an all African-American and Afro-Caribbean cast. Georgia Shakespeare’s imaginative telling, also set on an island, honors Welles’ landmark production while also creating a contemporary conversation that goes beyond race and celebrates the strength of a good story in changing times.
“We chose to present this production in partnership with NBAF in order to explore how some of the play’s core themes and production choices will resonate with a contemporary audience, particularly in Atlanta, which is home to one of the most culturally vibrant African-American populations in the country,” said Georgia Shakespeare Producing Artistic Director Richard Garner.
Jennifer Castanet, marketing director for Fifth Third GA, said, “We’re very excited to help bring this production to Atlanta as the presenting sponsor for the show, which continues a conversation that remains important and compelling in our community today.”
“This collaboration between NBAF and Georgia Shakespeare allows us both to connect and engage our core audiences around Macbeth. We look forward to the conversations that experiencing this play will provoke, especially as it is reimagined by Raelle Myrick-Hodges, an important voice in contemporary American theatre,” said NBAF Executive Director Dr. Michael Simanga.
Filled with true horror, Macbeth is Shakespeare’s tale of murderous ambition that questions just how far one will go in the quest for power and also examines true loyalty between lovers.
Local favorite Neal A. Ghant stars as Macbeth, with Cynthia Barker as Lady Macbeth. The cast also includes E. Roger Mitchell as the nobleman Banquo, Greg Lockett as Macduff, and Victor Love as both King Duncan and Hecate, the fourth witch.
The exotic world of the play is brought to life by the work of the production’s design team, which includes Matt McAdon (scenic designer), Tamara Cobus (costume designer), Mike Post (lighting designer) and Amatus Sami (composer/sound designer).
In addition to regular performances, Georgia Shakespeare presents student matinee performances of Macbeth as part of the theatre’s commitment to educate young audiences. With the support of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Shakespeare for a New Generation grant, Georgia Shakespeare is offering subsidized live student matinee performances of the play, as well as pre- and post-show workshops, to students in 10 high schools in Atlanta Public Schools (APS).
Georgia Shakespeare was chosen as one of 42 non-profit professional theater companies nationwide to receive the $25,000 grant, which is designed to give students in underserved schools and communities through the United States exposure to high-quality, professional productions of Shakespeare’s work. The grant is a program of the NEA in partnership with Arts Midwest.
Students from the 10 schools will attend the performance free of charge, and their transportation will be funded through The Cultural Experience Project, a program of the Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs that offers local APS students the chance to experience a broad range of Atlanta’s premiere cultural venues and artistic programs.
Regular performances are Wednesday through Friday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. An additional evening performance is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 7 at 7 p.m. Student matinee performances are Tuesday through Friday at 10 a.m. Regular ticket prices range from $13 to $45. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.gashakespeare.org or call the Georgia Shakespeare Box Office at 404.504.1473. Discounts are available for groups, seniors, students and members of the military.
For more information about Shakespeare for a New Generation, please visit www.shakespeareinamericancommunities.org.
Macbeth is presented by Fifth Third Bank, with additional support from Georgia Power, Gas South and media sponsor Reporter Newspapers. Georgia Shakespeare’s 2012 season is made possible by Charles Loridans Foundation, The Kendeda Fund, The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, Metropolitan Atlanta Arts Fund, The Shubert Foundation, The Home Depot Foundation, Georgia Council for the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts and Turner Voices.
Georgia Shakespeare’s production is part of Shakespeare for a New Generation, a national program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.