Shakespeare Theater of NJ brings Macbeth to life at PHS

A live performance of “The Scottish Play” enthralls the junior class

On March 17, 2023 the Junior Class of 2024 and Barcelona exchange students viewed a live Macbeth performance by the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey.
Juniors and the Barcelona exchange students were all thrilled by the captivating performance.

Macbeth, created by English dramatist William Shakespeare, follows the main protagonist Macbeth, who learns mysterious prophecies told by witches. During his ambitious journey, Macbeth plots a secret scheme with his wife Lady Macbeth to kill noble King Duncan. He and his wife succeed, but Macbeth’s true downfall is his own ambition.

Macbeth and Lady Macbeth scheme to kill the king… (Wallace Lau)

The Shakespeare Theatre performed two plays on Friday, March 17 so that every Junior English class could view the performance. The plays were divided into two periods: Blocks 1 + 2 and Blocks 3 + 4.

During the month of March, most English classes were required to read Macbeth. Before the play started, most of the Juniors were excited about Macbeth fighting his rival Macduff and what the witches would look like. For example, Saayan, a Junior at PHS, described the witches as his favorite characters during the performance. He also noted how the witches felt more lively in the play than the actual reading.

“The witches were my favorite because of how ominous they were in the play,” said Saayan. “Compared to the book, the witches had more of a presence in the play and you could feel and see their importance which was a cool twist to the play.”

Double, double, toil and trouble… (Wallace Lau)

Speaking of the props, there were a mix of feelings about the props used in the performance. Nikolai, a Junior at PHS, liked most of the props on the stage.

“I liked the bloody props which are the metal and darker sets,” said Nikolai.

The scenery was mostly filled black and organdy curtains and some stage boxes that the actors stood on. Saayan noted that he was a little upset about how dreary the props were on stage.

“I was a little disappointed with most of [the scenery],” said Saayan. “It seemed pretty bland.”

Being queen isn’t all it was set out to be… (Wallace Lau)

On the other hand, the actors’ costumes looked incredible. The little head outfit that looked like a spider web on the Ghost of Banquo perfectly resembled a ghost. Additionally, Macbeth’s mantle clothing looks very detailed with the red and white colors. The red mantle indicates Macbeth’s behavior of how he wants to kill Duncan and Banquo to try to gain power. Also, Lady Macbeth’s red dress expounds how she is desperate for her husband to be king.

An “unreal mockery”… (Wallace Lau)

All of the actors felt very lively. The witches, for example, spoke in a very ominous tone. The tone change from Macbeth when he was talking to Lady Macbeth then the Ghost of Banquo was executed very well. Macbeth could be heard stuttering and he kind of turns mentally unstable when he sees the Ghost of Banquo for the first time. Also, the fighting scenes felt very real. The audience could hear the music sounds of the swords clashing with each other when Macbeth was fighting.

Banquo returns! (Wallace Lau)

For about an 80 minute play, the acting and story were executed flawlessly, and the audience definitely enjoyed all of the scenes. While the play was condensed due to time constraints, PHS students would love to see another play from the Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey.