Ensemble-driven Macbeth (April 12-21) Crowns Year-long Exploration of the Shakespeare Classic

Immersive production features close collaboration of faculty and students

Washington, D.C. — Georgetown University Theater and Performance Studies Program and Mask and Bauble Dramatic Society present a distinctly ensemble rendering of Shakespeare’s most haunted tragedy “Macbeth” at the Davis Performing Arts Center’s Gonda Theatre April 12-21, 2012 (showtimes below). Ritualistic, mercurial, and provocative, this highly theatrical, cross-cultural staging probes Macbeth’s spiral through brutality, witches, and war — conjuring an immersive world between nightmares and waking, the living and the dead.

Directed by Professor Maya E. Roth and produced by Lorraine Damerau (COL ‘13), the ensemble-driven production features fifteen cast members performing multiple roles, including across gender. Roth says the ensemble approach helps to question, “Whose nightmare is it? Duncan’s? Lady Macbeth’s? Macbeth’s? The Witches? Banquo’s? The MacDuff’s? Their Boy’s? It passes from one character to the next, shared across times, across people, haunted by fears… It’s a cycle of nightmares streaming in and out of each other.” She notes that playing with perspective “of time/space, of culture, of character” helps to highlight the work’s poetic force and timeless relevance. “The play is set in a time of brutality and war/trauma, of nightmares. Each of these characters participates in a strand of the tapestry of what spirals dangerously awry.”

The design team includes the following: Set Design by Prof. Natsu Onoda Power, Costume Design by Prof. Debra Kim Sivigny, Light Design by Robbie Hayes, Fight Choreography by Casey Kaleba, and Sound Design by Becca Nadler (COL’12), with student associate designers contributing in significant ways.

The production caps a year-long focus on “Macbeth” by Professor Roth. Her Theater & Performance Studies fall seminar, titled “Macbeth: Witches, War and Performance,” pursued in-depth analysis of the play itself, its history, adaptations of it, and theoretical as well as critical writings about it. In addition to study of film adaptations by Roman Polanski, Akira Kurosawa, and Vishal Bhardwaj, and analysis of related plays by Ionesco and David Grieg, the class together experienced live performances including Synetic Theatre’s silent version, “Speak No More,” Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s “Equivocation” inspired by themes from Macbeth and presented at Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater, and British troupe Punchdrunk’s interactive, site-specific dance theater rendering, “Sleep No More” staged in an abandoned New York City warehouse. Approximately half of the students from the fall class are participating in the production, and selected samples of their critical and creative projects will be on display in the Davis Center main lobby.

Davis Performing Arts Center Artistic Director Prof. Derek Goldman says, “We are honored to collaborate with Mask & Bauble on this innovative treatment of a great classic. The project reflects Georgetown’s approach to building its dynamic season offerings out of intensive curricular engagement, as the production is the culmination of a year-long multifaceted student-centered research process led by Professor Roth, (and extended stunningly into the brilliant designs led by Prof Natsu Onoda Power, Deb Sivigny and Robbie Hayes). The resulting production activates the issues of our moment in this classic text, particularly the traumatizing impact of war and brutality.”

Showtimes include the following:

Thursday-Saturday, April 12-14 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, April 15 at 2 p.m.
Wednesday-Saturday, April 18-21 at 8 p.m.


Fri/Sat evening only:
$18 general / $15 faculty, staff, alumni, senior / $10 student

All other performances:
$15 general / $12 faculty, staff, alumni, senior / $7 student

For tickets, visit or call (202) 687-ARTS (2787) Monday through Friday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Georgetown University’s main campus is located at 3700 O St. NW, in Washington, D.C.

“Macbeth” is the final show in the Georgetown University Theater & Performance Studies Program’s 2011-12 “Nature’s Mirror: A Season of Evil and Noble Acts,” generously supported by C74, at the Davis Performing Arts Center, which also included mainstage productions of “Visible Impact,” “A Child Shall Lead Them: Making ‘The Night of the Hunter,'” and “The Bi(g) Life” senior thesis performances.

The Mask & Bauble 2011-12 season also included The Donn B. Murphy One-Acts Festival of original student work; “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”; and “The Deep Blue Sea,” a co-production with Nomadic Theatre.

Georgetown University Theater and Performance Studies Program integrates creative and critical inquiry, emphasizing artistic excellence, interdisciplinary learning, a commitment to social justice, and the spirit of collaboration. With a dynamic major in Theater and Performance Studies, the Program features a nationally recognized faculty, including leading scholar/artists, and many of the region’s leading professional theater practitioners. One of the country’s only undergraduate programs in Theater and Performance Studies, this fast-growing program has rapidly attracted significant national attention for its distinctive curriculum, reflecting the political and international character of Georgetown, and for its high-quality, cutting-edge student production seasons. Through the Davis Center, the Program foregrounds new work development, classics re-visioned, interdisciplinary programming, and collaboration across faculty, students and guest artists.

The Mask & Bauble Dramatic Society, established in 1852, distinguishes itself as the oldest continuously running college theatre group in the United States. Mask & Bauble (M&B) works to produce high-quality theatre using a collaborative process. The group produces a season of five shows a year, traditionally including musicals, dramas, comedies, and classics. In the spring, Mask & Bauble also produces the annual Donn B. Murphy One-Act Play Competition and Festival, in which student-written plays are submitted, judged, and produced.

Press contact:
Laura Mertens