Incorporating the work by William Shakespeare. An eerie traveling carnival, run by the frightening Madame LeBeau, arrives outside of a small American town in the early 1900s. Several children sneak into the carnival and quickly discover a wicked world of darkness and mystery. Trance-like, the townspeople are soon pulled to the tent and end up as characters in the tale of "Macbeth." The Mayor and his wife become Macbeth and Lady Macbeth; Mrs. Cambridge, the local widow, becomes Hecate; and other citizens become Macduff, Banquo, Ross, the Apparition, and others. The carnival's Siamese Twins and Lizard Creature become the three Witches, while Marie, the teller of fortunes, sings medieval lyrical chants. By the end of the tale, the townspeople discover the carnival is here not to entertain, but to take on new performers to spread its evil ways. Can the children save the town from the endless curse that's visited this town before?
PLAYWRIGHT STEVEN FOGELL
TALKS ABOUT "'MACBETH' AT THE MIDNIGHT CARNIVAL"
Q: WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE THIS PLAY?
A: Of all of Shakespeare's plays, Macbeth has always been my favorite. It has witches, spells, ghosts, and sword fights, what more could you want from a great story? I wanted to bring the story more up to date and put a new twist on it by setting it in a turn of the century carnival. I love plays that have multiple layers of characters and stories within stories.
Q: WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE PART OR LINE IN THE PLAY? WHY?
A: My favorite part of the play is when the carnival comes to life. Carnivals have a very creepy and magical aspect to them and I feel this is when the play really starts to take on it's true feeling. My favorite line from the original Macbeth is " Something wicked this way comes" that is the true line that inspired me to write the play.
Q: WHERE DID THE CHARACTERS COME FROM? ARE THEY BASED ON PEOPLE YOU KNOW?
A: The characters outside of the Macbeth story are inspired by people I know that live in small towns and communities. Pulling on the traits of old Americana and setting this piece in the early 1900's makes the actions of the carnival folk more mysterious and dark.
Q: WHAT DID YOU TRY TO ACHIEVE WITH THIS PLAY?
A: I want to make Shakespeare more accessible to younger audiences. By giving the play a new twist and adapting the original dialect this opens the door to inspire younger children to understanding Shakespeare and wanting to read and see more of his work. I also wanted to create a great dark fairy tale of sorts that a large group of student actors could get behind and support. Playing villains on stage can be a great experience for any actor.
Q: DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO ADD?
A: Have fun with this play, both in acting and staging! Let your imagination go wild and create a world that the audience and the actors can get lost in. Lighting and music can go a long way to create a mood or setting, use them to your theatrical advantage. Enjoy creating live theatre! Break a leg!