Larry Carpenter’s Dark Vision for A Noise Within’s MACBETH

A Noise Within continues its 2013-14 season with Macbeth, opening on Saturday, March 15 at 8pm. Directed by Tony Award nominee Larry Carpenter, this marks the first time in eleven years that the company has presented Shakespeare’s dark tragedy, which portrays the violent ambition of Macbeth and his wife, whose ascension to the Scottish throne through bloody means, ultimately causes their own demise.

Larry Carpenter talks about his vision: “I’ve directed a lot of Shakespeare, but this play is the one I keep returning to: fantastically well-constructed, it contains some of the Bard’s absolute best poetry. Macbeth is a present tense event where the characters dance with evil forces, and my staging includes the audience as participants. I am struck by the counterpoints of barrenness (which allows evil in) and fertility (that safeguards the future of the kingdom), and by Macbeth’s driving egoism. In many ways, his narcissism and grandiosity–coupled with an unwavering ambition for power and notoriety–mirror aspects of our current American condition and character.” 

Considered one of Shakespeare’s darkest and most powerful tragedies, the play dramatizes the corrosive psychological and political effects that result when evil is chosen as a means of appropriating political and personal power. Written between 1603 and 1607, Macbeth tells the story of a brave Scottish general who hears witches prophesy that one day he will become King. Consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife, Macbeth murders King Duncan and seizes the throne. Wracked with guilt and paranoia, he soon becomes a tyrannical ruler as he commits ever more murders to protect himself and his reign. The bloodbath and consequent civil war that ensue swiftly sweep Macbeth and Lady Macbeth into a chasm of arrogance, madness, and death.

Elijah Alexander

Jules WilcoxThe cast is led by Elijah Alexander and Jules Willcox as Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. Alexander, best known for his role in the film Mr. and Mrs. Smith, brings an extensive background in Shakespeare to the production, including performances at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Utah Shakespeare Festival and California Shakespeare Festival. This is the second time he has portrayed Macbeth. Jules Willcox was seen in last fall’s Pericles as Marina at A Noise Within and can be seen in the new CBS series Friends with Better Lives.

Other members of the cast include Thom Rivera, Jeremy Rabb and Amin El Gamal as celebrants, Leith Burke as Banquo, Matt Orduna as King Duncan, David DeSantos as MacDuff, Katie Pelensky as Lady Macduff/Donalbain, Feodor Chin as Malcolm, Theo Taplitz as Macduff Son, Mitchell McCollum as Lennox, Abubakr Ali as Ross, and Lawrence Fernandez as Angus.

Additional events include a symposium with noted scholar Miranda Johnson-Haddad, who will discuss the play on Wednesday, March 12 at 8pm prior to that evening’s performance, conversations after the performance with the artists on Friday, April 11 at 8pm, Sunday, April 27 at 2pm & Friday, May 9 at 8pm, and an ASL-interpreted performance on Friday, May 9 at 8pm. There will also be a Pay What You Will performance on Thursday, March 13 at 8pm.

March 15 – May 11, 2014
Previews March 8, 12, 13 & 14
A Noise Within
3352 East Foothill Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91107
(on the corner of Foothill Blvd and Sierra Madre Villa Avenue)
Tickets: 626-356-3100 or


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Karen Zumsteg
    Mar 03, 2014 @ 20:18:56

    And opening on the Ides of March, no less.



  2. Shakespeare in LA
    Mar 03, 2014 @ 20:47:49

    Ha! I didn’t even notice that. Very observant.



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