Macbeth At Dawson College: An Event Not To Be Missed
On November 3rd, in the Dawson New Dome Theatre, a resounding thunder crashes throughout the stage and three witches crawl upwards onto the set. They move mesmerizingly, in sync with the thunder. “When shall we three meet again? In thunder, lightning, or in rain?” declares one in a jeering voice that pierces amidst the stage.
Why Macbeth? Director of the play, Stefanie Buxton, explains that “it’s about people and it’s about what lives deep inside all of us perhaps and what we do with choices, and I think that resonates for anyone and everyone of any time anywhere and especially for the student population.”
The artist explores the various subjects the Shakespeare play covers: “ambition, destruction, disintegration” and how they help us to “achieve harmony and balance [...] through loyalty, trust and honor”. This process can make the play an interpretation of a reflection of our human nature.
Buxton explains the precise process that goes into picking which play to perform. A certain procedure is followed that allows the theater troupe’s members to make a collective decision on which play the third-year students are to perform this fall. She adds on: “I personally prefer Shakespeare's plays with magic,” she says with a wide smile. “It’s a shorter one than some of his others; Shakespeare wrote this latter in his career so that he was really starting to play with form and structure.” She then goes on to discuss the various styles within the writing: “It’s not just all in verse; there’s prose, rhyming couplets and it’s a really generous play for interpretations.”
Such tragedies as Macbeth are still pertinent in our current times. The play director draws an analogy between a vast number of Shakespeare’s plays and our solar system: “They orbit and once in a while they orbit closer to us. Some plays are a bit closer than others at certain times, given what is going on in the world.” For Stefanie, she admits that she enjoys “working in a way that we are socially conscious artists,” and so finds this play to be “quite relevant to take your pick of what’s going on wherever in the world.”
When asked what she wished to say to our readers, Stefanie Buxton exulted at the question and said: “Come to the play!” while grinning. According to her, such events are crucial to the community spirit among Dawson College students. It is a foremost duty to celebrate the theater community – as well as everyone else’s achievements.
The play is set in the medieval year of 1211 AD. The costumes are working out perfectly and the props are in good hands; a lot of work was visibly channeled into the production of the play. The director declares that there were various aspects to be put into consideration when directing a salient play such as this one. They also put thought into the gender of role players, “Whether there is female, male, or non-binary [actors] must go into consideration for casting”. Furthermore, she considers other aspects such as: “What will serve the students well?” as well as “What are good challenges?”
Despite facing the Covid-19 pandemic, the Dawson theater community has been able to get back on its feet. They no longer perform with masks and the audience can spectate without one as well. “I truly feel honored to be working on the first major play without masks,” says Buxton before chuckling. “Especially with this incredible group of young people who have been through so much.”
Production stage manager, Mary Davidson, also admits to have faced a ‘challenging time’. After the pandemic, the director states that “everybody's changed, obviously, as a result.” When coming back from confinement, she witnessed many moments of ‘hesitancy’, due to the fact that “they were learning in their bedrooms”. However, it is no longer the case at the moment. Stefanie enthusiastically claims that she now sees “way more confidence” and that when entering the stage, actors are able to perform with utter assurance and stature.
During the rehearsal of Act One, several talented students enter the caliginous stage. A wounded captain limps onto the platform and gives a gripping performance. The witches come head-to-head with Macbeth and Banquo, making the spectator sit on the edge of their seat, eager for more. The actor playing King Duncan stands tall alongside his loyal and valiant companions, ruling the roost. Gracious as they come, the student portraying Lady Macbeth grants a moving performance through elegant movements needled by a disquieted tongue. The play will be a convivial event starring our accomplished fellow Dawson students, so do not miss the chance to see it!