The Shakespeare OP Players present Shakespeare's Macbeth in original pronunciation (OP), i.e. Early Modern English as spoken in the late 16th-early 17th century in London. In OP, the subtleties, intimacy, puns, rhyming and characterizations in Shakespeare's plays and poetry are more audible than they are in contemporary English. The modern presentation of Shakespeare's plays in period pronunciation is gaining momentum and the Shakespeare OP Players are proud to bring their second production to New York next month, following a successful run of Twelfth Night in OP last year at the American Theatre of Actors (ATA).
A fresh interpretation based on recent scholarship unveiling the true meaning of the play features a strong focus on the demonic elements that drive Macbeth and his Lady to their ultimate damnation. "In Shakespeare's time, witchcraft and its diabolical roots were perceived as threats, as real as Nazism and Communism in their eras, and were strongly believed to have fueled the events of the play," said Hamilton Meadows, Founder and Producing Artistic Director of the Shakespeare OP Players. "This history provides a foundation for the artistic concept of our production, which will be unlike any production of Macbeth staged in New York."
Performers include Bjorn Pederson as Macbeth; Lize Johnston as Lady Macbeth, who played Viola in Twelfth Night OP; and Joel Fullerton as MacDuff, who played Sir Andrew Agucheek in Twelfth Night OP. Music and dance is performed by Drummermania with Levi with a chorus of witches. Costumes have been donated by the NYC Metropolitan Opera via Theater Development Fund.
Produced and directed by award-winning director, Hamilton Meadows; dramaturg and dialogue coach is Diana Swinburne; voice coach is Doug Honorof; fight choreographer is Rod Kinter (from the Pearl Theatre); stage management is Laura Cornwall; technical consultant is Larry Breindel; lighting designer is Phillip Waller.
The Shakespeare OP Players (dba the ShakespeareOP company) was founded in 2010 as a nonprofit organization under The Fractured Atlas dedicated to the production of Shakespeare's plays in original pronunciation (OP). Based in New York, our mission is to stage works spoken in an accent that would have been heard in Shakespeare's times; form an ensemble that performs Shakespeare OP productions in New York City and on tour throughout the United States; and to archive the production process and final stagings on film for use by performers, students, and linguists with an interest in original pronunciation.
Photo Credit: Hamilton Meadows