The Asian-inspired, Southern Miss production of “Macbeth,” known by many superstitious types simply as ‘The Scottish play’ will debut Thursday, March 25 at 7:30 p.m. in the Gilbert F. Hartwig Theatre.
It’s bad luck to speak the name of Shakespeare’s last and darkest tragedy before the performance, but a few University of Southern Mississippi students are willing to take the risk.
“It’s bad luck to say “Macbeth” before the performance,” said Director T.J. Kent, second year master’s of performing arts candidate from Knoxville, Tenn. “If you say it, you’re supposed to go outside, spin around three times counterclockwise, curse, spit and then you have to knock and ask to be let back in the theatre.
“Years ago, a lot of theatre companies who were on the verge of failing, so they’d choose a Shakespeare show to try to save the company because they’re so well known and require a small cast. The show would inevitably fail, because the company was failing already and it caused people to think that “Macbeth” was cursed.”
Despite the age-old theatre superstitions that surround “Macbeth,” members of the cast and crew are excited to put on this unique performance that brings murder, temptation and treachery to the stage. Kent is responsible for the distinct concept of this traditional Shakespeare play that blends European and Asian influences. The main characters in this story, Lord and Lady Macbeth, will be adorned with Asian-inspired clothing as they perform against an Eastern backdrop.
The roles of Lord and Lady Macbeth will be played by Brooke Aiello, a second-year master’s of fine arts candidate from Visalia, Calif., and Burton Tedesco, master’s of fine arts candidate of Lakeland, Fla. This psychological and chilling tragedy builds tension, paranoia and fear that eventually leads to violence and murder.
“I think that people will really enjoy the show, because it has a little of something for everybody,” said Burton. “There are witches, ghosts, sword fighting and beautiful language and relationships.”
Tickets for “Macbeth” are $8 for general admission and $6 for students. The show will run March 25 – 31 and April 1 at 7:30 p.m. A matinee performance will be held Sunday, March 28 at 2 p.m. and the pre-show talk is at 1 p.m. For more information, visit www.usm.edu/arts.
Brooke Aiello of Visalia, Calif., and Burton Tedesco of Lakeland, Fla., will play the roles of Lady and Lord Macbeth in this Asian-themed Shakespeare rendition of “Macbeth”.
About The University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities. In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world. Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at www.usm.edu. -30-