by Billy Clouse
After months of rehearsals and a few hiccups, Second Studio’s production of “Macbeth” is opening tonight. The show will play from this evening, November 9, to November 13 except for Sunday.
Trevor Messenger, a senior classical acting major from Morgan, is the director of the show. He was selected after submitting a unique concept for the show.
“Last semester, I had a capstone class where I wrote a gender theory in theatre paper,” he said. “I read through Macbeth and I noticed there were a lot of things I could do with gender theory and a female Macbeth. It’s an interesting thought experiment, so I decided to do that.”
Messenger left the possibility of a male lead open, but he ultimately decided on Abigail Rose Nakken for the main role.
“There’s a lot of lines about being a man, and that was a tool used back in the day, that now in our current frame of reference as a society, we kind of get off-putted by that,” Messenger said. “Masculinity does not equal power and femininity doesn’t equal weakness, and I decided to play around with that. I get to show how much further and how much grosser those comments are and what it means to have one woman tell another to ‘be a man.’”
In addition to experiments with gender theory, Messenger changed other roles in the show.
“I actually went through and made the witches a much bigger part than they usually are,” he said. “The witches are telling the story and I have them meld into and out of characters, which is an interesting dynamic that I originally created to deal with the fact that I wouldn’t have a large ensemble. It became a strength and not a handicap, and the witches became a big part in shaping the story and interacting with all characters.”
Isabella Abel-Suarez, a senior musical theatre major from Las Vegas, oversaw the production as the artistic director for Second Studio. She said that although the show faced problems leading up to tonight — there was no director over the summer, the opening date was moved forward by a month and the soundboard died at Tuesday night’s dress rehearsal — the show has turned out great.
“I love seeing when the show is finally put together,” she said. “I saw Macbeth for the first time on Tuesday. Hearing all the crap they went through and finally seeing it put together is awesome.”
Now that the show is opening, Messenger has a similar feeling.
“It feels like 170 pounds have just been lifted off the top of my head,” he said. “As the director, you’re constantly worrying about things, like I've got to fix this, I’ve got to get in contact with these people. Last night I had this feeling where I could sit back and say ‘Ok, it’s there.’”
All performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Auditorium Blackbox Theatre. Tickets can be purchased online or at the door.