Utah troupe returns to bring Macbeth to Kingman stage

LWHS the venue for Shakespearean classic

Karl Hugh, 2015 Utah Shakespeare Festival/Courtesy<BR>
Drew Shirley as Macbeth and Natasha Harris as Witch in the Utah Shakespeare Festival’s 2015 Shakespeare-in-the-Schools touring production of Macbeth.  The public is invited to a free performance at 7 p.m. Thursday in Lee Williams High School, 400 Grandview Ave.

Karl Hugh, 2015 Utah Shakespeare Festival/Courtesy<BR> Drew Shirley as Macbeth and Natasha Harris as Witch in the Utah Shakespeare Festival’s 2015 Shakespeare-in-the-Schools touring production of Macbeth. The public is invited to a free performance at 7 p.m. Thursday in Lee Williams High School, 400 Grandview Ave.

KINGMAN - Professional theater is returning to Kingman as the Utah Shakespeare Festival's Education Tour performs "Macbeth" at Lee Williams High School.

The free public performance features a 75-minute version of Shakespeare's shortest tragedy, including complete costumes, sets and theatrical lighting. Also included is a 15-minute post-show discussion with the 10 actors, who are headquartered in Cedar City, Utah.

During the one-day visit, students will be able to participate in workshops in stage combat, performing Shakespeare's text, technical theatre and developing character through improvisation. They also will watch the show and have a discussion about the arts in the morning.

The visit is co-sponsored by the Kingman Unified School District's Positive Alternative Campus and by LWHS.

"The USF tour is significant to Kingman because it provides an opportunity for students to engage with professionals in the performing arts industry," said Jennifer Potter, coordinator of the Positive Alternative Campus. "The LWHS tech students work alongside the crew, and students from both campuses get to experience the live performance and ask questions of the actors."

The tour opens doors for the students, said Potter. Last year's performance of "The Taming of the Shrew" motivated a LWHS drama student to pursue her interest in theater by participating in a USF summer camp.

"The tour also benefits the community because it allows residents to see a professional performance without having to travel to Las Vegas and Phoenix," added Potter. "Last year's performance of 'The Taming of the Shrew' was well received by the Kingman community, as evident by the generous monetary donations and appreciation shown via emails and phone calls. This type of support enabled the schools to bring back USF again this year."

"Macbeth" is the story of a Scottish general who is told by a trio of witches that one day he will become King of Scotland. Macbeth, who is consumed by ambition and encouraged by his wife, Lady Macbeth, murders King Duncan and steals the throne for himself.

But Macbeth is haunted by what he's done and becomes a tyrannical ruler as he commits more murders to shield himself from suspicion and remove people he considers as threats to his success. After his wife commits suicide, a civil war ensues, and Macbeth is killed and beheaded by a Scottish nobleman who opposed his takeover of the throne.

"This is a play about a man who walks into the darkness and becomes it," said Quinn Mattfeld, who is directing this year's production. "We all fear that the mistakes we make in our lives will come back to haunt us. For Macbeth and his wife, the haunting is literal."

The USF visit is part of the festival's 14-week tour from January to April that includes schools, communities and correctional centers across Utah, Nevada, Idaho, Colorado and Arizona. The group will give numerous performances at dozens of schools.