“Something Wicked This Way Comes” as Steel River Playhouse Teens present MACBETH

by Patricia Bradford

For Immediate Release:
Steel River Playhouse is pleased to announce their first educational production workshop performances of the season. A company of 13 middle and high school students present MACBETH: Abridged , a shortened version of William Shakespeare’s classic tragedy, on January 16 at 2 p.m. and again at 7 p.m. A snow date is also planned for the show, with snow date performances on January 17 at the same times. An invitational dress rehearsal will take place on Friday, January 15, at 7 p.m.

Filled with some of the most familiar Shakespeare scenes of all time, “MACBETH,” says director Aileen McCulloch, “is one of the best Shakespeare productions for teaching the language to young actors.” McCulloch, who has directed the production several times over the last two decades, is the Educational Director at Steel River Playhouse, and a huge fan of Shakespeare’s work. “The key to helping actors present Shakespeare is to make sure they know what they are saying and what they mean.”

The acting workshop is a class run by Steel River’s education department. Each class period begins with a lesson and then is followed with two hours of rehearsals. The group puts the workshop together in 10 classes, and a week of technical rehearsals. “It amazes me how intense students can be when they understand the meaning,” says McCulloch. “This is not just a great workshop production, it is a terrifically clear production of the play.”

The play is perfect for introducing young audiences to Shakespeare, and with a ticket price of just $10 for adults and $5 for students, it is an economical introduction as well. In Shakespeare’s classic work about greed and murder, the soldier Macbeth, Thane of Glamis, is on his way home from battle when he is stopped by three witches. The hags greet him as the Thane of Cawdor and the King that shall be, and he is confused. As far as he knows, the Thane of Cawdor is still alive and fighting alongside the king, so it would be a huge promotion to take that title. Yet moments after the witches disappear, men come from the King to tell Macbeth that the Thane of Cawdor is a traitor, and Macbeth will now take the title. From that point on, Macbeth’s desire to be king overwhelms him, and the play traces the outcome of his greed, and the consequences of his actions.

Macbeth is played by Jason Scansaroli of Downingtown, with Autumn Phillips of Morgantown, the production’s teen intern and assistant director, playing the role of his conniving wife, Lady Macbeth. His friend Banquo is played by MacKenzie Boudman , and Banquo’s son Fleance is played by Rob Reagler , both are from Pottstown. Lionel McCulloch plays Macduff, the Thane of Fife, an ally of the Macbeths until he suspects them of murder. The three witches (who double as murderers in the play) are played by Sami Uggla of Downingtown, Paige Byerly of Downingtown, and Christie Lohr of Collegeville . King Duncan is played by Kyle Merlo of West Chester, and the Princes Malcolm and Donalbain are played by Holly Perna of Pottstown and Joanne O’Brien of Morgantown. Noah Pendleton of Schwenksville plays the Porter and Macbeth’s servant, Seyton. Cast members also double as other roles in the production.

Stage Manager Geordie Jarvis of Coatesville also plays the Doctor. Tiernan McCulloch assists as stage crew for the show, with teen Rachel Wilkin of Glenmoore as Sound Board Operator. Parent volunteer Scott Byerly handles lighting design for the production, while McCulloch doubles as set and costume designer for the show.

Tickets may be ordered online by visiting the Steel River Playhouse website at www.steelriver.org.

Theater/Organization Steel River Playhouse
Theater/Organization Website: https://www.steelriver.org

Theater/Organization Address: 245 E. HIGH STREET POTTSTOWN, Pennsylvania 19464 (Map It)
Theater/Organization Phone: (610) 970-1199

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