The Battlefield Within: Shakespeare’s Macbeth Opens at Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival
Center Valley, PA—Visions of power captivate and corrupt as the star couple craft their dark fantasies into crimson reality in Shakespeare’s Macbeth as envisioned by PSF Producing Artistic Director Patrick Mulcahy. Previewing July 17 and 18, and opening July 19 on the Main Stage, Macbeth runs through August 3.
“Shakespeare’s penetrating and glorious language lays bare our human frailty in a scorching vision of psychic distress borne of errant and abhorrent action,” Mulcahy says. “As dark as the play can get, like any great tragedy, it offers insight into what is beautiful and fragile in life. What happens when behaviors are at odds with the soul?”
Returning to the director’s chair following his triumphant production of Hamlet in 2011, Mulcahy’s Macbeth features a new staging of this mesmerizing tale of ambition and treachery. Deanna Gibson, Eleanor Handley, and Suzanne O’Donnell play three witches who deliver the prophecy that sparks the advent of a new political hierarchy. Festival regular Ian Bedford will play Macbeth, the Scottish general whose ambition and lust for power is ignited when the witches intimate that he will one day be king.
Following her powerful performance as Katherine opposite Bedford in the title role of last season’s acclaimed Henry VIII, Susan Riley Stevens returns to play Lady Macbeth—whose appetite for political domination exceeds even that of her husband’s.
Macbeth’s ambitious (but ethical) ally, Banquo, will be played by Anthony Lawton.
Festival veteran Carl N. Wallnau plays the good King of Scotland, Duncan. His son and heir, Malcolm, is played by Jacob Dresch, who played Octavius Caesar in PSF’s 2009 production of Antony and Cleopatra. The resolute Macduff, who helps lead the campaign for Macbeth’s defeat and the return of Duncan’s line to the throne, will be played by Perry Ojeda.
Scenery is designed by six-time Emmy winner Bob Philips; lighting by Thom Weaver; costumes by Lisa Zinni; and sound by Matthew Given. Mulcahy also serves as fight director. Production stage manager is Stacy Renee Norwood.
Production Sponsor is the Amaranth Foundation. Co-sponsors are David B. and Patrina L. Rothrock and The Rider-Pool Foundation. Actor sponsors are Lee and Dolly Butz. The season sponsor is Breslin Ridyard Fadero Architects. Associate Season Sponsors are Linda Lapos and Paul Wirth, The Szarko Family and the Harry C. Trexler Trust. Media sponsors are The Morning Call and Service Electric Cable TV & Communications.
The production previews June 17 and 18, opens June 19 and runs through August 3 in the Main Stage Theatre in the Labuda Center for the Performing Arts on the Center Valley campus of DeSales University.
Lend Me a Tenor, opening Friday, July 11, and Macbeth will play in repertory with the same cast. Some mature situations. PG 11+. To order tickets call 610.282.WILL  or online at www.pashakespeare.org.
The season also features The Two Gentlemen of Verona (through July 13); Lend Me a Tenor (through August 3) in repertory with Macbeth (July 17 – August 3); Tina Packer’s Women of Will (July 20 – August 3); Cinderella (through August 2); and Shakespeare for Kids (July 23 – August 2).
PSF is also offering a one-night-only performance by the world-renowned Baltimore Consort which is premiering: “The Food of Love: Songs for Shakespeare” on Monday, July 28 at 7:30pm.
Media representatives: To schedule reviews and/or interviews or request photos, please contact Lisa Higgins at gro.eraepsekahsapnull@sniggiH.asiL or call 610.282.9455, ext. 4.