The new production opening Friday is a tale of an ambitious leader, murderous plots, vengeful ghosts, fearsome witches and blood-soaked prophecies.
Easley Amused presents “Macbeth,” opening Friday at the Easley Foothills Playhouse. The show runs until Sunday afternoon. Friday and Saturday shows begin at 7:30 pm. The Sunday matinee starts at 3 pm.
Tickets are $10 for adults and seniors. Tickets for children or students with ID are $5. Purchase tickets by visiting showtix4u.com.
This production features five different directors, each directing a different act of William Shakespeare's play.
That strategy gives those interested in theater a chance to hone their skills, according to Erin Hensley Schultz, president of Easley Amused.
“The purpose of this production is to use it as vehicle to teach people the roles in theater that people don't audition for,” she said. “People need to learn how to direct somewhere and not everybody took those classes in college. People have to learn how to design lights somewhere, and how to design sound and how to design a set. All these little jobs that when you audition for a show you don't think about necessarily, but somebody has to do it, and in community theaters, if we don't have people learning how to do it, that's going to die out.”
That ties directly into Easley Amused's entire purpose, “to raise the quality of community theater and keep it from dying out,” Schultz said.
“We want to keep training new people and keep getting more people in here,” Schultz said. “That's why we wanted to split it up to give more people opportunities to direct, because it's hard to get someone to ask you to direct, if you don't have any experience directing.”
The directors are Allyson Cauble, Robert Francis, Erin Hensley Schultz, Steve Schultz and Kevin Tribble.
The majority of the directors are also in the show and chose their acts.
“Allyson wanted experience doing fight choreography, so she got Act V,” Schultz said. “Steve wanted to kick off the show, so he got Act I.”
Having five directors “has been a challenge,” she said.
“But ultimately, I feel it's been worth it,” Schultz said.
Schultz herself is directing Act III, as well as starring as Lady Macbeth, whose ambition drives her husband to betray his king and seize power for himself – with deadly results.
Steve Schultz stars as Macbeth, a Scottish thane content to serve his king – until a supernatural encounter suggests that power and glory could be his – if he's willing to commit a heinous crime.
Once Macbeth and his wife set their plan into action, they find that, to quote another play by Shakespeare, “uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.”
Macbeth must contend with threats both mortal and otherworldly, while fighting off an ever-growing sense of paranoia.
“Imagine being there,” Steve Schultz told cast members during a recent rehearsal. “Imagine what it's like to have Macbeth facing you down with a sword. Imagine what it's like to find out your father's been murdered brutally, while you were sleeping just a couple doors away. Imagine all of these things and live those moments.”
The show is the full text of “Macbeth,” Erin said.
“We went with an incredibly minimalist set,” she said. “We want everything to be very bleak, because we want the most important part of this play to be the text.”
Easley Amused operates under the umbrella of the Foothills Playhouse, Erin said.
“They generously allow us to use their space every Sunday for our improv shows,” she said.
Easley Amused splits their proceeds with Foothills, and schedules its own shows so as not to interfere with Foothills Playhouse shows.
“They let us use their costumes and they let us use what set pieces they already have,” Erin said.
Easley Amused does improv at the Foothills Playhouse every Sunday beginning at 7pm.
“It's free to everyone, it's open to all ages,” she said. “It is family-friendly. That's something we feel very strongly about. We think it's important for community theaters to be a destination. Like, 'It's Sunday, let's go do improv.' We're trying to keep an environment where families feel comfortable keeping their kids.
“We've had a 7-year-old onstage doing improv onstage with her grandparents,” she continued. “It's been a really cool thing. It's a place where literally everyone is welcome. It doesn't matter how long it has been since you've come, it does not matter how experienced you are, everyone is welcome. Because you can't get experience if you're never given the opportunity. That's what we're about, providing the opportunity for people.”
Easley Amused will do a Boob-A-Palooza fundraiser event for breast cancer awareness
“This year we're doing a pageant and a variety show,” Erin said.
All proceeds from that event will be given to the Ta Ta Queens.
“That's where our money can have the most immediate effect and do the most good,” Erin said. “It'll stay in the community. Any donations will go directly to people in Easley.”
Auditions for the Footshills Playhouse's production “Once Upon A Mattress” will be held 7pm Sunday, June 24 and Monday, June 25.
Auditions for Once Upon a Mattress will be held on Sunday, June 24th and Monday, June 25th at 7 pm. Those auditioning should prepare eight bars of a song to sing and come dressed comfortably to dance. You may be asked to cold-read from the script. Please bring a non-returnable headshot, if available. Auditions are open to those age 14 and up.