Erin Kleiber, Contributing Writer
Every summer, Shakespeare Dallas hosts a season of “Shakespeare in the Park,” presenting four outdoor Shakespeare productions in local Dallas parks. With a history of excellence and a dedication to superb quality, Shakespeare Dallas unfailingly presents creative productions of the Bard’s works. This season includes Macbeth, a production with close ties to the University of Dallas.
Directed by UD’s own Assistant Professor of Drama, Stefan Novinski, Macbeth fulfills all expectations for a visually stunning production. Before the capable cast even delves into the text of what is arguably one of Shakespeare’s greatest works, bullets are flying, landmines are detonating, smoke is everywhere and people are already dead. The death toll only registers higher as Macbeth begins his famous, bloody quest to attain – and retain – his prophesized kingship.
The tragedy is rebooted for the modern era, with Macbeth and company dressed in army fatigues, and machine gun battles reflective of current conflicts occurring throughout the production. The design is reminiscent of the underappreciated 1998 television adaptation directed by Michael Bogdanov, but retains some of the more traditional imaginings as well: The witches are the scraggly crazies with a cauldron that audiences have come to expect from Macbeth. Yet between the astounding visual effects, startlingly frank fight scenes and meticulous attention to design details, any Shakespeare aficionado would have thought the work well treated.
While it would be an overstatement to claim that the production was flawless (the Malcolm/Macduff scene seemed to last for veritable days), seeing Macbeth was a truly enriching way to spend an evening off-campus. In addition to being a generally fantastic production of the famous tragedy, the cast features recent UD graduates Thomas Sorensen (as Lennox) and Jonny Wilder (as Messenger), with Phil Cerroni working as the assistant director.
If you’d like to support some UD alumni and our own Professor Novinski, Shakespeare Dallas’ Macbeth runs at Addison Circle Park Oct. 3 – 14. All shows start at 8 p.m., though the park opens to audiences at 7 p.m. For tickets or more information, visit www.shakespearedallas.org.