The Antaeus Company, L.A.'s multiple award-winning classical theater company, takes on William Shakespeare's gripping psychological drama, Macbeth. Jessica Kubzansky directs the fully double-cast production, with Bo Foxworth and Rob Nagle sharing the title role and Tessa Auberjonois and Ann Noble partnering as Lady M. Performances take place tonight, July 12 through August 26. Talk-backs will follow the performance every Thursday night beginning July 19: stay after the performance to ask questions and discuss the play with various cast members.
Macbeth may be the Bard's most disturbing tragedy: a macabre tale of Scottish legends, witches, hallucinations and power. Shakespeare's bloodiest couple thrash against the rise of their own consciences in a compelling psychological and political thriller that follows Macbeth's transformation from battlefield hero to bloody tyrant, revealing the human soul's darkest depths.
"I've always wanted to direct Macbeth in an intimate space," says Kubzansky. "Because of all the battles, it's usually performed on a grand scale, but I want to investigate the psychology of it: How did these people come to do such evil deeds? What makes good people do bad things? One of the reasons that Shakespeare has survived over the centuries is because there are so many stories within each text-his plays are so deep and so wide."
"Most of the plays we produce at Antaeus begin as projects initiated by members of the company that then go through a process of work sessions and readings," explain co-artistic directors Bill Brochtrup, Rob Nagle and John Sloan. "Often that process is an end unto itself, an opportunity to take a pause from the daily press of a working actor's life to examine a text in depth. We initiated work on Macbeth in January of 2011. In August, we asked Jessica Kubzansky to join us and continue the exploration with a ClassicsFest reading. We found she had a fresh take on the play, one that many of us hadn't seen before, and we wanted to share that with our audience."
Unique among 99-seat theater companies in L.A., Antaeus is known for "partner casting." In all Antaeus productions, two equally talented actors collaborate on every role, working together throughout the rehearsal process and enriching the creative experience. Audiences, who never see an understudy, frequently return to see the same play in the hands of an equally excellent but very different set of actors.
In addition to Foxworth, Nagle, Auberjonois and Noble, the 40-member Macbeth ensemble includes Armin Shimerman and John Sloan partnering as Ross; Ned Schmidtke and Peter Van Norden as King Duncan; Daniel Blinkoff and James Sutorius as Macduff; Steve Hofvendahl and Todd Waring as the Scottish Doctor; Brian Tichnell and Christian Barillas as Malcolm; Ramon De Ocampo and Joe Holt as Banquo; Kimiko Gelman and Kitty Swink as Lady Macduff; Dylan La Rocque and Jack Lancaster as Fleance; Joe Delafield and Jeff Thomas Gardner as Lennox; Alex Knox and Jesse Sharp as Angus; Fran Bennett and Lorna Raver as the first witch; Jane Carr and Susan Boyd Joyce as the second witch; Saundra McClain and Elizabeth Swain as the third witch; Joanna Strapp and Rebekah Tripp as the Gentlewoman and the Nurse; Brian Abraham and Adam Meyer as the first murderer; Daniel Dorr and Sam Breen as the second murderer; Paul Culos and Ian Littleworth as Donalbain; and Gerard Marzilli and Jason Thomas as Menteith.