Shakespeare at Winedale

American Shakespeare Center performs Macbeth on UT Campus

Sun, January 28, 2018
American Shakespeare Center performs Macbeth on UT Campus
Kyle Powell, Hilary Caldwell, and Annabelle Rollison as the Weird Sisters in Macbeth. Photo Credit: Micahel Bailey

The American Shakespeare Center will return to Austin for its ninth annual visit to the University of Texas campus. Direct from the stage of the American Shakespeare Center's celebrated Blackfriars Playhouse, the ASC touring troupe brings Renaissance drama to life in exciting and accessible performances. On February 28 at 7:00 pm in the Hogg Memorial Auditorium, the ASC's touring troupe will perform Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

From the first words of the play until the title character loses his head, Shakespeare’s shortest tragedy is also his most unrelenting examination of the dark side of humanity. Driven to bloody deeds by their lust for power and supernatural predictions, Macbeth and his Lady fight to hold on to their ill-gotten throne, their sanity, and each other by any means necessary.

“The loss and degradation I find so appalling in this play is not the fall of Macbeth, but the corruption of what is sometimes referred to as the strongest marriage in all of Shakespeare,” says director Ben Curns. “While Macbeth features witchcraft, swordfights, storms, hallucinations, and even the walking dead, I still maintain that this is a love story. Perhaps if they made better choices they could be Beatrice and Benedick, but instead they will, in the words of Helen Gardner, ‘enter a world of appalling loneliness, of meaningless activity, unloved and unable to love.’ I can’t imagine anything more tragic.”

The ASC brings a unique performance style to the UT Campus at Hogg Auditorium, blending Shakespeare’s stagecraft with modern sensibility. The company uses Shakespeare’s Staging Conditions: universal lighting, minimal sets, character doubling, cross-gender casting, and live music. Shakespeare’s performance company couldn’t turn the lights out on the audience; actors and audience shared the same light. The Wicked Folly Tour shares light with the audience throughout the performance for a unique brand of audience contact rarely seen in theatre today. 

The 2017/18 Wicked Folly Tour is the ASC’s 29th annual tour. Founded as Shenandoah Shakespeare Express in 1988, the ASC grew to international prominence and is now the home of the world’s only re-creation of Shakespeare’s indoor theatre in Staunton, VA. ASC on Tour has performed in 46 US states, one US territory, and five other countries. The Wicked Folly Tour features Hilary Caldwell, Josh Clark, Topher Embrey, Ally Farzetta, J.C. Long, Mitchell McCollum, Kyle Powell, Annabelle Rollison, Ronald Román-Meléndez, Calder Shilling, and Constance Swain. Learn more at www.americanshakespearecenter.com.

The performance will take place on the UT campus at the Hogg Memorial Auditorium.

Parking is available on the street and at UT’s San Antonio Garage.

Tickets are $20 and $10 for students, as well as UT faculty and staff. They can be purchased online in advance through the Shakespeare at Winedale website. 

The theater will open for seating at 7:00 pm. At this time, live pre-show music will also begin. The performance will begin at 7:30 pm. Seats for the performances are available on a first-come, first-served basis, so audience members are encouraged to arrive early, take their seats, and enjoy the music.

This visit is made possible by Shakespeare at Winedale, the English Department, the Iris Howards Regents Professorship, and the Mary Lu Joynes Endowment in the Plan II Honors Program.

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