Review: Savage Players’ MACBETH – Intense But Not Intimate

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Colin Simon (Macbeth) and Adrienne Hertler (Lady Macbeth. Photo credit: Jenn Spain

When I read this paragraph from Savage Players’ press materials for Macbeth, it had the desired effect. It made me want to see the production.

“While textually faithful to Shakespeare, Savage Players plans a ‘poetic, austere staging’ that encompasses the audience and blurs the traditional lines of stage and audience. The production aims to create an intimate, intense experience for the audience in which we are no longer able to separate ourselves from the world of Macbeth.”

That sounded like a pretty intriguing vision to me and I was looking forward to experiencing this intense Macbeth of blurred lines. After seeing so many versions of the play, one welcomes an approach that promises to bring something new to the table. But instead of finding an intimate world that surrounds the audience, I found myself sitting in a large finished warehouse space with so much staging area between players and public that intimacy was never part of the equation.  More

Savage Players Presents MACBETH at Live Arts Los Angeles

Savage Players - Macbeth

Following last season’s critically lauded production of The Psychic Life of Savages at Los Angeles Theatre Center, Savage Players returns at a new venue, performing Shakespeare’s classic drama of better ideals overwhelmed by misguided ambition, and the runaway exercise of unchecked imperial power leading to extravagant bloodshed and then, revolution.

Why has Macbeth become Shakespeare’s most currently popular drama? Because it resonates with people living in the 21st century. And how. While textually faithful to Shakespeare, Savage Players plans a “poetic, austere staging” that encompasses the audience and blurs the traditional lines of stage and audience. The production aims to create an intimate, intense experience for the audience in which we are no longer able to separate ourselves from the world of Macbeth.

Alex Levy directs a cast that includes Sam Bianchini, Steven Scot Bono, Walt Gray IV, Adrienne Hertler, Michelle Holmes, Evan Lipkin, Cassandra Nwokah, Bob Rodriguez, Colin Simon, Austin Caleb Slavens and Joe Tower. Levy holds an MFA in Directing from UCLA (where he has also taught) and has helmed shows in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, India, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey and Morocco.

The production team also includes Julia Keefe (sound design/composer), Colin Simon (fight choreograph), Desirae Hepp (scenic design), Pablo Santiago (lighting design), Melanie Fairchild (costume design), Christina Bryan (stage manager) and Lauren Hadnot (assistant stage manager). Macbeth is produced by Lauren Dunagan. Josephine Keefe is associate producer.

Previews Oct. 18 at 8 pm. Show opens Saturday, Oct. 19at 8:00 pm and runs through Nov. 17. Show times: Friday and Saturday at 8:00, Sunday at 7:00. Tickets are $20. Students, seniors, and preview, $10. For reservations call (310) 853-0712 or visit www.savageplayers.com/tickets

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