Something “wicked” is coming to the Oakland University stage as the Department of Theatre presents William Shakespeare’s Macbeth — a cautionary tale about the trappings of power and what happens when vaulting ambition takes priority over the people one is expected to govern — from Feb. 6-9, 13-16 in the Varner Studio Theatre on the OU campus.
“With Brexit on the horizon, we have set our play in an imagined 2023, where the United Kingdom is in disarray, countries have been betrayed and seceding is the only option for independence,” said Director David Gram, an assistant professor of theatre at Oakland University.
Blurring the line between the psychological and the supernatural, Macbeth traces the downfall of a respected soldier who, in collusion with his industrious wife, employs extreme measures to fulfill and counter the eerie prophecies of “three weird sisters.”
“In the play, Macbeth is told by three witches that he will become the Thane of Cawdor and eventually the King of Scotland,” said Lauren Goyer, who plays Lady Macbeth. “After the witches leave, missives from the current queen give him the title Thane of Cawdor, which leads him to believe the he could actually become king. Once he shares this with me (Lady Macbeth), I encourage him to murder the queen so that he can take the throne.”
For Goyer, playing the role of Lady Macbeth has been “a dream I never knew I had.”
“I love portraying such a strong woman, which we don’t see a lot of in theatre from Shakespeare’s time,” she said. “I am honored that David chose me to play this role of a lifetime.”
Dryden Zurawski, who plays Macbeth, said the role has “served as a culmination of everything I’ve learned at Oakland during my time here thus far.”
“It’s such a great honor to tackle a part as iconic and mildly terrifying as this one,” he said. “The role is challenging; first with its sheer size and magnitude, but also with the expectations that people have for the role. Luckily, David has given the cast the liberty to navigate the rehearsal process as if we were picking up a fresh script that has never seen the light of day, much less an audience.”
Haley Spencer, who plays one of the “weird sisters,” said it has been an “honor and a privilege” to be part of the production.
“The most challenging part of the role has been justifying my character’s actions: deceit, murder and violence,” she said. “My character fully believes that what she is doing is right. I think of her as a ‘goddess of truth’ who can see through the mask people have put on for vanity. Once the mask comes off, the truth comes out.”
Tickets for Macbeth are $15 for the general public and $8 for students. Tickets are also $8 during the 10 a.m. matinees. To purchase tickets, visit www.etix.com.
Varner Studio Theatre is located in Varner Hall at 371 Varner Drive on the OU campus. For more information, contact the School of Music, Theatre and Dance at (248) 370-2030 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Thursday, February 6 at 8 p.m.
• Friday, February 7 at 10 a.m. and 8 p.m.
• Saturday, February 8 at 8 p.m.
• Sunday, February 9 at 2 p.m.
• Thursday, February 13 at 8 p.m.
• Friday, February 14 at 10 a.m. and 8 p.m.
• Saturday, February 15 at 8 p.m.
• Sunday, February 16 at 2 p.m.