First it was a Soldier with no lines, then the Bloody Captain. Now Luis Galindo takes on the title role in Macbeth, Independent Shakespeare Co.’s studio production opening April 13 in Atwater Village. The production precedes its appearance in this summer’s Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival, and Galindo is already fully immersed in the exploration of the play’s themes.
“Equivocation, betrayal, and the price of ill-gotten power make Shakespeare’s villains some of the most fun to play,” he says thoughtfully as he considers what appeals to him about the character. “It’s an acting buffet. As a human being, he’s not the greatest guy, but then neither is Hannibal Lecter or Anton Chigurh. And they are etched into our minds as the antithesis of what we could or should be as human beings. For some reason, we want to see monsters.”
And how does an actor go about creating such a complex character? According to Galindo, the key is to go back to the text. “I use Shakespeare’s words to tell me what he means. This play is written in a very irregular meter. The acting clues come from the structure of the lines, where the thoughts end and how the new ones begin. Add to this the actor’s imagination and you start to see things emerge; you uncover a living, breathing person. But no matter what happens in the discovery process, I always go back to the text as bedrock.”
As part of the exploration, the audience will be invited to participate by sharing their thoughts and impressions of the play. One of the unique ways is an interactive art installation called The Nightmare Floor. Audience members can share their darkest dreams and fears by writing them on the stage before the performance. The idea is to have them incorporated into the very ground the actors will be walking on. And of course, there will be live music, magic spells, and blood…lots of blood. Following the show audience members can stay for a discussion of the play and the show’s signature cocktail, a cup of Witch’s Brew.
Galindo has been a company member with ISC for five seasons, which includes playing roles like the Ghost, Player King and Grave Digger in Hamlet, The King in Love’s Labor’s Lost, Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Polixenes in The Winter’s Tale and this summer he adds Jaques in As You Like It to his repertoire, along with Macbeth. He also teaches acting at the New York Film Academy’s Universal Studios branch.
Why does he keep coming back to Shakespeare? “The thing about Shakespeare is that there is no one better. The roles and the words are better than any actor that ever played them. It’s been 400 years and it seems that we haven’t laid a glove on the guy.”
April 13-May 12
Saturdays and Sundays at 5:00
In the Independent Studio
3191 Casitas Ave. #168
Los Angeles 90039
Tickets are $20 (Students $15), available by calling (818) 710-6306 or online at http://www.iscla.org/.
Starring Luis Galindo as Macbeth, Melissa Chalsma as Lady Macbeth, Richard Azurdia, Benny Briggs, Matt Callahan, Danny Campbell, Joseph Culliton, Thomas Ehas, Aisha Kabia, Rudy Marquez, André Martin, Brandon Massey, Erik Mathew, Ashley Nguyen, Dana Pollak, Sean Pritchett, Bernadette Sullivan, Erwin Tuazon.
Stage Manager: Laura Rin, Assistant Stage Manager: Karen Zumsteg
Directed by David Melville