Double, double, toil and trouble. King’s College presents ‘Macbeth’ Feb. 24-28
WILKES-BARRE — Practicing his role as Banquo, Matt Kropp of Laurel Run lunged onto the King’s College stage and crossed swords with a hapless enemy, played by Sabrina Rios of Hanover Township.
Thwack! Thwack! As they blocked each other’s blows with wooden blades, the two warriors appeared evenly matched. Then Macbeth, played by Kyle McCormack of Mountain Top, sneaked up behind Rios’ character. A moment later, she was on the floor and Macbeth finished her off with a dagger.
Fight choreographer Alison Schug of Dryden, New York, was pleased, but wanted more vocalization.
“You’re screaming!” she directed Rios. “He’s literally chopping your chest open.”
“Be loud! Make noises!” Schug said, her gaze taking in a dozen actors who had spent a good half hour leaping about and stabbing at each other as they rehearsed a battle scene for one of William Shakespeare’s most famous plays, “Macbeth,” to be presented by the King’s College Players Feb. 24-28.
While practicing the battle was high-energy way to get ready for the play, subtle preparations were also taking place; among them, the way seven “weird creatures” have adopted such creatures as a raven, a snake and a rat to be their “familiars.”
“For me, it’s a lot of arm and shoulder movements” that will help audience members realize her character has a connection to a raven, Skylar McKuch of Mountain Top said.
“Their wing spans are beautiful, but they’re oily,” she added. “I might do something with my hair.”
After watching animal videos to glean ideas, Katie Brunwasser of Montgomery, New York, said she’d be “keeping my hands like claws and holding them close to my body, and scratching my head a lot because rats are fidgety.”
While many productions of Macbeth have three “weird sisters,” or witch-like women who tell Macbeth he will someday be king, the seven weird creatures in King’s show are a “very tight knit group of evil entities, neither male nor female,” Britney Benkoski of Exeter said. “We act as one.”
“They embody evil,” director Dave Reynolds said.
Perhaps these creatures are the trigger than awakens Macbeth’s ambition. But it’s the character Elizabeth Hoover plays, Lady Macbeth, who really goads her husband on toward bloodshed and ruin.
“I think all along there was a seed of evil in him,” Hoover said. “But it didn’t sprout until she came along with her watering can.”
Lady Macbeth is quite a scary character, said Jarred Stagen of Lord’s Valley, New York, who portrays a doctor called in to treat the lady. Everyone in the scene is “supposed to act really scared of her,” he said. “But we don’t have to act.”
Reach Mary Therese Biebel at 570-991-6109 or on Twitter @BiebelMT
IF YOU GO
Where: George P. Maffei II Theatre, rear King’s College Administration Building, 133 N. River St., Wilkes-Barre
When: 7:30 p.m. Feb. 24 to 26; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Feb. 27 and 28.
Tickets: $12; $7 seniors; $5 students.