Shakespeare famously said “All the world’s a stage,” and Entertainment Inc! is taking that message to heart by stepping away from the stage and into the park to share one of The Bard’s most famous works with the public.
The theater company is preparing its debut of Shakespeare in the Park, performing Macbeth for the inaugural show. The show will run Thursday, Aug. 15 to Sunday, Aug. 18 at the Virgil Syverson Performance Center at Harmon Park.
Director Michelle Swanson, who has studied Shakespeare extensively, said being able to put the show on is a “dream come true.” Swanson approached members of the company and pitched the idea, and she said there was immediate interest and support.
“For a long time I’ve wanted to start Shakespeare in the Park,” she told the Williston Herald. “It’s always been a dream of mine and a desire, and it’s kind of my baby. So we pulled together a plan and decided on Macbeth and asked Inc! if they would be willing to host us in a way. Inc! has been really great with supporting us and helping us out with it.”
The cast of 17 has been rehearsing for many weeks, adjusting to the new surroundings of the park, rather than the familiar comforts of the Old Armory stage. Swanson said the location makes for some unique challenges, as cast members got used to working without microphones and projecting their performances so that everyone in the audience can hear.
Swanson said the well-known Scottish tragedy explores the themes of fate and destiny, as the titular character becomes obsessed with the knowledge that he will become king. The play unfolds as Macbeth becomes consumed with ambition, driven by the words of his wife. As the bodies pile up, Macbeth becomes more paranoid and guilt-ridden, struggling to maintain the power he believes he was fated to have.
The performances are free to the public, so anyone interested in seeing some live theater is invited to attend. As the performances are outside, Swanson recommends that people bring chairs, blankets, snacks, sunscreen and a cold beverage to enjoy the show. Performances are at 7 p.m. Aug. 15 to 17, and 3 p.m. on Aug. 18 at Harmon Park.