Comic take on classic play


Michelle Fromm

Witches practice their dance in front of the cauldron.

Lakeland College’s theatre department is taking a new direction this year for the upcoming fall play “Farndale Macbeth, a Scottish Play.” The previous shows have been more serious performances, but this year will be something completely different. This kind of show has never been done before on the Bradley Building’s stage. Director Charlie Krebs, associate professor of theatre and communication, plans to make it a fun and entertaining show for the students and faculty at Lakeland.

The show will open on Thursday, Nov. 14 at 7:30 p.m. The show will run through the weekend and close with Sunday, Nov. 17’s matinée performance at 2:00 p.m.

“It is a chance for the students to experience the creative process,” said Krebs on the subject of what the performers, students and staff will get out of the show.

Actress Rachel Siehs, a senior history major, plays a king named Duncan. Siehs says she is excited and ready to go.

Siehs said so far in the production she is most proud of, “the entire experience of the show and working as a team to put the show together.”

According to Krebs, the original show is set in a suburb of London, England. The Lakeland version of the show will be set in New Jersey and will be portraying a bunch of college students who are attending a college called Farndale Community College. These students believe that they are the best stage performers in the country. In reality, these performers are far from the best, being uncoordinated and having trouble memorizing their lines for the show they are performing, which is “Macbeth.”

Like the original “Macbeth,” the performers must not say the word ‘Macbeth’ because it is unlucky for the stage performers. In the title of the show, the word ‘Macbeth’ is crossed out and in its place is the phrase, “A Scottish Play,” to add to the humor of the show.

According to the cast members, they will be wearing strange costumes that add to the show’s comedy. For example, the nine witches in the show will be wearing large purple satin capes.

Krebs wanted to bring a comedy to the Bradley Building’s stage at Lakeland. For the past few years, the many plays and musicals performed at Lakeland have been more serious shows, including “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Romeo and Juliet,” “Soli deo Gloria” and “Equis.” Krebs said, “I wanted to take a break this year from the dramatic shows and let the school sit back and laugh.”

Actress Madeline Pearson, a sophomore computer science major who plays Haley, one of the nine witches, said, “I like to get people to laugh, and I like to hear the audience laugh.” She’s looking forward to seeing how the show comes together in late fall.

So far in rehearsal, the cast has been strictly off of their scripts so they can get their lines memorized. Sunday, Oct. 20 was the first rehearsal that the cast tried to run through the show off script.

Lead actress Katherine Zielsdorf, a sophomore education major who plays Macbeth, says that memorizing her lines was tough, but she is very excited to get into character.

“I’ve never had a lead role before, and this is my first Lakeland show,” Zielsdorf said.

Krebs enjoys that the students have been coming up with a lot of the comedic sketches in the play. The nine witches in the show helped design a musical number in the show, which they will rap rather than sing in a traditional classical music style.

Non-Lakeland students will need to purchase tickets for this production. Lakeland students may pick up a free ticket in Nash, and the show will count as a convocation credit for them. The runtime of the play will be about an hour and a half.