Cast of Mac BethCast of Mac Beth, adapted by Erica Schmidt, based on the works of William Shakespeare. Photo by Knelsen Photo.

University Players to deliver killer season opener

Tickets are selling fast for University Players’ season opener, Mac Beth, an adaptation by Erica Schmidt from William Shakespeare’s Scottish tragedy.

In a desolate urban underpass outfitted with an abandoned bathtub, couch, and shopping cart, seven teenagers gather for a meeting of their Mac Beth “club” and perform the play. It’s all true to Shakespeare’s original text, but in the bodies and voices of the students, the story gains a deeper meaning.

Mac Beth premiered in New York in 2019. In an interview with, the playwright put the modern context into perspective:

“I wouldn’t say I have adapted the play into a new context. We are still on a heath. We are doing the play faithfully. We adhere to the text as written by Shakespeare wholeheartedly... The idea to use teenage girls came from questioning: what is a witch? What is a person who traffics with the occult and makes potions and believes in spirits? But really. Right now. There is a long history of young women being accused of witchcraft and teenage girls have a ferocity and power unique to being between girlhood and womanhood.”

Mac Beth opens Friday, Sept. 22 with a 7:30 p.m. performance at Essex Hall Theatre. The show runs approximately 90 minutes. Recommended for ages 14+, some mature content violence and gore. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at Regular price tickets start at $20.

Subscriptions for the full University Players season will be available through the run of the show. Tickets for a full four-show series start at just $62.