Sierra Farnham as Lady Macbeth and Natasha Fishman as Macbeth.Sierra Farnham as Lady Macbeth and Natasha Fishman as Macbeth in Mac Beth adapted by Erica Schmidt from the works of William Shakespeare. Photo by Jen Gurniak Photography.

Players raise curtain on thrilling modern Shakespeare tonight

Working with a new adaptation of William Shakespeare’s bloody tragedy, University Players brings Mac Beth to life Friday, Sept. 22, as a kick-off to its 65th season.

The student cast has been thrilled to work with the text in this modern setting, as it brings home a new relevance to the historic text and echoes the vicious ambition and competition among the young women of the play. None of the text has been changed, although the play has been shortened to run in a one-act format. The result is a fast-paced, adrenaline-driven thrill that packs a visceral blow.

The piece is directed by Dian Marie Bridge, a newcomer to University Players and the artistic director of the Black Theatre Workshop in Montreal.

“It’s told through the perspective of seven schoolgirls — it’s kind of like Heathers meets Dungeons and Dragons meets ancient Scotland,” said Bridge. “It’s a really stealthy adaptation of the play that parallels also teenage girl dynamics.”

Mac Beth opens tonight with a 7:30 p.m. performance at Essex Hall Theatre. The show runs approximately 100 minutes without intermission. 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.