Behind the Scenes of MacBeth

By Dani Cronin

Suspicion and the supernatural are lingering in the air because Shakespeare’s MacBeth is coming to the BHHS stage this fall. The play is a timeless tragedy set in Scotland just after troops led by main characters MacBeth and Banquo defeat troops from Ireland and Norway. This play captures the corruption and power lust that follows MacBeth’s rise to fame. One of the most apparent themes in the play is that there is more to a story than what meets the eye, and this is also true when watching a BHHS production.

When sitting in the audience, it is difficult to see exactly how much time and effort is put into producing a strong and powerful show. From auditioning to memorizing lines and learning blocking, so much happens behind the scenes of the actual performances to ensure a flawless production. The cast and crew of MacBeth spends numerous hours after school rehearsing and working to create and perfect the show. Senior Arielle Greenspan, who plays one of the witches, explains what it is like to be part of such an amazing and talented cast. At first, the Varley Players learn individual scenes, and eventually, they begin to piece it all together. The long rehearsals are Arielle’s favorite because “it’s one of the only times we get to be with the whole cast. It’s a ton of fun and it’s incredible to really see the show starting to come together.”

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In addition to the cast, the crew also puts in a tremendous effort to make the show visually appealing and ensure that it runs smoothly. Sophomore Nicole Tissot is the production stage manager and describes the responsibilities and accomplishments of the crew: “We meet for hours everyday to bring life to the script. There is also a crew consisting of teams for run, construction, sound, props, lighting, costume and makeup, and also a production staff.” Construction crew works tirelessly from 3pm until 6pm everyday of the school week, building the entire set for the show. During the weeks leading up to and during the shows, the run crew works to put the scenery in place and change the sets to accommodate the accompanying scene. Costume crews prepare and tailors costumes for the entire cast, and all other teams work equally as hard to make the show a success. The faculty members and parents also go to great lengths to make the students look and sound great. Nicole says that “having all these teams, as well as parents and teachers involved in the community makes for a complex and interesting production each time.” Nicole also expresses her excitement in disclosing the final product to the community.

Regardless of whether you are a Shakespearean expert or know nothing about his plays, come see the Varley Players’ production of MacBeth. The devoted cast, crew, faculty, and parents have all been working incredibly hard to make this play come to life, and their performances serve as a display of their talent in one culminating event. As Arielle says, “these plays were meant for the masses, and have stood the test of time for a reason.” MacBeth will be performed at the high school on November 18th and 19th, and the cast and crew hope to see you there to enjoy the product of all their hard work.