ACTORS THEATRE OF LOUISVILLE
The Pittsburgh Tribune
Masterson's adaptation is performed by three people who play nearly four dozen characters and bring the full power of the plays emotions and drama to a place where timeless ritual, medieval ceremony, and eternal human desires blend with contemporary technology (projections of live and recorded images, electronic and digital wizardry that stretches, deepens, recycles and echoes voices and other sounds).
All this technical wizardry is done in service and support of Shakespeare's text. This is one of the cleanest, clearest, most riveting productions of Macbeth you're likely to encounter. Masterson and his three very fine actors never abandon their primary mission of telling their story with passion, crisp diction, and clearly delineated characterization.
Mark Mineart's imposingly powerful Macbeth willingly places himself in Fate's hands, believing it will convey him on to glory. He reacts with uncomprehending denial when the electronically imaged green trees of Birnam Wood pulse ever larger as they advance toward him. Conversely, electronic manipulation shrinks his towering frame to portray Macduff's young son with aching vulnerability.
The Cincinnati Enquirer
Three actors, 18 masks, three slide projectors, one video camera and multiple screens are employed in a speed-of-light (less than two hours) telling of Shakespeare's tragedy of ambition, murder and the supernatural.
It's a must-see for anybody who already knows and loves the material. It might even work as an introduction to Shakespeare for young, technologically astute audiences. This is an intriguingly different approach to storytelling that is likely to appeal to young audiences.
Macbeth (Mark Mineart) and Banquo (Will Bond) are strong as they take on a variety of roles. Ms. Martin-Cotten too often pitches into throaty overacting, and her performance isn't helped by some bizarre choices in her supporting roles, like playing the castle's Porter with a John Wayne twang and swagger.
New ATL artistic director Marc Masterson earns applause for attempting to meld art and science. For the most part he succeeds admirably in what is clearly a complex experiment.
Everything in this Macbeth comes together wonderfully in the aftermath of the king's murder — there's terrific use of bloody daggers — and in the later banquet scene. As the dead king makes a chilling appearance that only Macbeth can see, the trio of actors manages to play both principle roles and confused banquet guests simultaneously.
There's an innovative and daring version of Macbeth on the boards at Actors Theatre of Louisville through the end of the month. This is Macbeth transported into a new realm, a world of shimmering light, multi-media accents and stylized movement. This is Macbeth as a Rorschach test. At times the kaleidoscope images don't fit. But throughout, this Macbeth is mesmerizing.
The other major innovation is that three actors cover the 32 roles needed to bring this story of ambition and villainy to its inexorable close. The actors (Kim Martin-Cotton, Will Bond and Mark Mineart) go through their character changes at platforms on either side of the stage, donning the appropriate helmet or mask and striking the appropriate pose in full view of the audience.
One might expect all this high-tech razzle-dazzle to blast the Bard's meaty text to smithereens. But it doesn't. The actors serve up all the familiar monologues with intense clarity. The result is both allegorical and chilling. The images and sounds and words continue to haunt long after the lights come down.
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