Shakespeare Visits Byram: A Recap Macbeth

By Alessandra Colella

On November 18th and 19th, the Varley Players put on a performance of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth. With practices beginning in late September, actors began working on their first show of the year. While some had background on Macbeth due to their freshman English class, not all were completely familiar with the story.

Macbeth, a Scottish nobleman played by senior Nick Muhart, is conflicted because of prophecies given to him by witches that he encounters. Learning that he is on a path to kingship, he completely changes his personality, becoming savage-like and tyrannical. By his side is his wife, Lady Macbeth, played by junior Marina Triebenbacher. Together, they achieve the throne through violence and backstabbing, eventually leading to their downfall. Marina played Lady Macbeth effortlessly, and she said, “The experience was amazing because it is always wonderful to work with a company that is so dedicated. I enjoyed playing a role that is very different from who I am in real life.”

Despite the dark plot, the show was an important one for the high school actors to partake in. Cast member sophomore Charlie Cohen says, “Shakespeare is really helpful for actors because it trains us differently than all of the more contemporary shows.” In this show, the actors had to perform in old English making it especially difficult to interpret. They had to go the extra step and do research on their lines and their characters. The actors describe that it was definitely difficult at first, but once they got adjusted to the language, they were able to go through the process smoothly. Marina added, “By putting in the effort to learn Shakespearian language, you understand the character’s motives more and the play on a deeper level.”

Both nights, the performances were phenomenal. The detailed set pieces made the watching experience extremely realistic. Also, lighting was often used to create a more daunting effect. Fog and different sound elements added to the suspenseful and ominous mood. Nick’s dramatic performance of the dinner party scene, along with senior Brendan Higham playing Banquo, was incredible. The three witches- Arielle Greenspan, Caitlyn Geller and Pietrina Poritzky- were very creepy in their performance (but in the best way!).

Charlie says, “We couldn’t have had a better start to production season.” The Varley Players’ first show turned out to be a great success. Congratulations to all of the actors, directors and crew!