St. Philip’s College premieres 20th-century spin on ‘Macbeth’

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The Bard’s play receives Louisiana makeover.

Dorothy P Braziel

The St. Philip’s College theater program will premiere “Macbeth” with a twist this week.

Theater coordinator Vincent Hardy adapted the original play by William Shakespeare.

“This version has been adapted to the late 20th century and set in the bayous of Louisiana,” Hardy said. “I love that part of the country, and given the history of voodoo and the presence of witches in the play, I thought it’d be a great fit.”

Opening night is 8 p.m. Nov. 14 in the college’s Watson Fine Arts Center.

Unlike other adaptations, this one preserves most of Shakespeare’s language, Hardy said.

“I like to see the students develop an approach to the language that is appreciative rather than fearful,” he said.

The original “Macbeth” was set in 11th-century England and Scotland during the Middle Ages.

Hardy has changed the Scottish locations to Louisiana parishes.

It tells the story of Macbeth, who is told by three witches he will be the king of Scotland and what actions he and his wife must take to ensure he ascends to the throne.

St. Philip’s technical director Russel Calder designed the sets and is building them with the help of students.

Independent designer Leah Brazile made the costumes.

The main cast features Roosevelt High School drama teacher Andrew Hardaway as Macbeth and professional actor Erin Polewski as Lady Macbeth.

The ensemble cast is composed of professional actors and student actors from St. Philip’s, Roosevelt High School, Lee High School and the University of the Incarnate Word.

“I have a small program here,” Hardy said. “When I want to do a bigger show, I have to use actors from the community. I open up all productions to the community. Our students learn an awful lot working alongside experienced people. Sometimes actors are given a small stipend if it’s in the budget.”

Performances are at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and at 2:30 p.m. Sundays Nov. 14-23 in the Watson Fine Arts Center of St. Philip’s College.

Tickets are $5 for Alamo College students, staff, senior citizens and San Antonio Theatre Coalition members. General admission is $10, and admission for high school students is free.


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