Shakespeare meets ‘Walking Dead’ in Hayes’ Macbeth

Director Kelly MacFarland instructs cast members through blocking the fall play, Macbeth. Opening night will take place September 26.

Emily Richards • News Editor

The Delaware Hayes thespians will take a modern approach to this year’s fall production of Macbeth. The Walking-Dead-inspired modifi- cations include a post-apocalyptic setting.

Additionally, characters will articulate their lines with modern English as opposed to the 17th cen- tury Old English that Shakespeare utilized when he wrote the drama. “We don’t want to lose all of the audience by intermission because they don’t understand what’s going on,” director Kelly MacFarland said.

His objective is to modernize the play in a way that conveys Shakespeare’s timelessness. “There’s a big stigma about Shake- speare being boring,” MacFarland said. “I want to try to make it

where it isn’t perceived as boring.” Although it will be performed

with contemporary interpretations, the classic genre of this year’s production greatly differs from the classification of last year’s piece, The Farnsworth Invention. This alteration can be accredited to former director, Michelle Howes, who created a four-year play cycle of several different styles.

“The students can get a full theatrical experience doing a clas- sic piece, a contemporary drama, a contemporary comedy and a children’s theater,” MacFarland explained.

The play itself is about a general who is confronted by witches. The witches inform him that he will become a king.

There is one problem, though – there is already a king in power.

Consequently, Macbeth and his wife plot to murder the king and take the throne for themselves. “It’s sort of a self-fulfilling proph- ecy,” MacFarland said.

After coming into power, the general is not very well liked and realizes that he is not an exception- ally suitable king. He and his wife are overcome with guilt. MacFar- land explains that the play is about the deterioration of the couple.

General auditions for the play were held the week of August 19, and callbacks were that Friday, Au- gust 23. “One of the most difficult things to do as director is casting,” MacFarland said. Often times, he has an image in his head as to what he thinks the character looks and acts like.

“I wasn’t trying out for any part in particular,” sophomore Kathleen

Duffy said, “but when I got my callback for a witch, I realized how much fun it would be to get the part.”

MacFarland believes that the greatest goal of the play is to
teach its participants and help them grow. “I like that the play is a smaller group of people for the cast and I like that it’s a lot more fo- cused on character development,” Duffy said.

Now that play practices have started, the thespians give up sev- eral hours of their evenings each night. During the couple of weeks leading up to the play, practice will last until 8 p.m. “Juggling home- work can be rough,” assistant stage manager McKenzie Confer said, “but once you create a system for yourself, it gets easier.”

During all of this practice time, MacFarland would like to improve the organization and efficiency
of the play as a whole, while also establishing better relationships with the students. Confer hopes to enhance the play in comparison to previous years.

“My goal is that we all work extremely hard and make this one of the best plays Hayes has ever done,” Confer said.

Macbeth will run September 26 and September 28. “It would be really awesome to have a full audi- torium for all of the performances,” Confer said.

Adult tickets cost $10, and student and senior tickets are avail- able for $7. All of the information can be found on the Hayes Mac- beth Facebook page or the school music website.v