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Production Photos by Lynn Lane

Stark Naked Theatre Company
Kim Tobin-Lehl & Philip Lehl, Co-Executive Directors

Presents

MACBETH 
By
William Shakespeare

Directed by Kevin Holden

Macbeth

Cover photo by Gabriella Nissen
Visual Art Coordinator: dianne k webb

CAST

Macbeth Philip Lehl *
Lady Macbeth Kim Tobin *
Macduff David Matranga *
Banquo, Seyton Jeff McMorrough
Duncan, Clergyman, Doctor Jack Dunlop
Malcolm
Matt Hune
Donalbain, Murderer Matt Lents
Lennox Elissa Levitt
Ross, Murderer Bobby Haworth
Sergeant, Porter Mark Roberts
First Witch, Lady Macduff, Fleance, othe Susan Draper
Second Witch, Gentlewoman, others Amy Garner Buchanan
Third Witch, Macduff's Daughter, others Regina Ohashi

*members of Actors Equity Association, the Union of professional stage actors

DESIGNERS/PRODUCTION CREW

Stage Manager Leslie Sinclair
Set and Prop Design Jodi Bobrovsky
Lighting Design David Gipson
Costume Design James McDaniel
Sound Design Michael Mullins
Crew Olivia Holmes, Dustin Salinas
Assistant Directors Olivia Holmes, Dustin Salinas
Dramaturg Dr. Robert Shimko
Assistant Dramaturg David Olivarez

June 6-June 22, 2013
SPRING STREET STUDIOS
STUDIO 101
1824 Spring St.
Houston, TX 77007

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Houston Art AllianceCity of Houston

ABOUT THE PLAY

Macbeth is Shakespeare's shortest major tragedy; its plot unfolds rapidly and with frightening inertia and efficiency. Typically with Shakespearian tragedies we see a mid-play turning point that changes the protagonist's perception of the world so drastically that it makes him essentially a stranger to himself. For instance, after Othello becomes convinced by Iago's machinations that Desdemona has indeed been unfaithful to him, he does things that would have been unthinkable to him earlier in the play, like slapping Desdemona in public and eventually killing his beloved in their marriage bed. Once Hamlet learns irrefutably that his uncle murdered his father — an event that additionally casts doubt on his mother's character and proves the ghost to be the actual, tortured soul of his father — he, too, enters a dangerously altered state of consciousness where he may indeed be as mad as he had previously pretended to be. It is this breaking of the ancient Greek dictate of gnothi seauton ("know thyself") that makes tragic characters tragic. The most devastating experience in the moral universe of tragedy is to lose one's sense of self, or to have it taken away. But while the climaxes of Hamlet and Othello occur basically dead center in those plays, the major turning point of Macbeth occurs strikingly early. Macbeth's murder of King Duncan propels Macbeth and his wife into unknown territory, a hallucinatory nightmare that constitutes the bulk of the play.

The great Polish critic Jan Kott, whose essay on Macbeth has somewhat influenced our production, contrasts Macbeth with a Shakespearian history play, Richard III. Richard and Macbeth both murder their ways to crowns. The most important distinction between them lies in the quite different dramatic universes they occupy. In Shakespearean history plays, history unfolds as a giant, ineluctable mechanism that sweeps every character along. In Macbeth (which, like Richard III, was based primarily on heavily biased historical chronicles), history becomes subjective and personal. The world distorts around Macbeth and his wife to a point that they are not always sure what they are really experiencing. Richard spends most of the play that bears his name skillfully riding the rushing tides of history; the Macbeths spend their play progressively drowning in blood. After Duncan's murder, Macbeth dreams of finding a final stasis in which he has at last killed everyone he could possibly need to kill in order to live safely as king — "a murder that will break the murder cycle," as Kott puts it. But this bloody dream is of course unfulfillable. Hallucination and somnambulism figure so prominently in the play because Macbeth is a portrait of a living nightmare. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth have trapped themselves between waking and sleep. Neither state is truly possible for them after the murder cycle begins: "Methought I heard a voice cry 'Sleep no more! Macbeth does murder sleep.'" Kott observes: "In a bad dream we are, and are not, ourselves, at the same time. We cannot accept ourselves, for to accept oneself would mean accepting nightmare for reality, to admit that there is nothing but nightmare, that night is not followed by day." More than any other Shakespearean tragedy, perhaps more than any other play, Macbeth takes us inside a nightmare from which we fear we may never awaken.

Robert B. Shimko, Ph.D. 
Associate Professor of Theatre History & Dramaturgy, University of Houston

dedication

Dr. Sydney Berger

Dr. Sydney Berger
1937–2013

Philip Lehl & Kim Tobin-Lehl and the cast and crew of MACBETH would like to dedicate this production in loving memory to Dr. Sydney Berger, former Chairman of the University of Houston School of Theatre and Dance and founder of the Houston Shakespeare Festival and the Shakespeare Theatre Association of America. His contribution to the Houston Theatre community, particularly where Shakespeare is concerned, was unparalleled!

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