Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

October 14, 2012

Halloween classic? Yes!

Local arts group to present scary ‘Macbeth’

HUNTINGTON — At least seven actors from the Ashland area will appear in the Arts Resources for the Tri-State (ARTS) production of “Macbeth” this weekend and next weekend at the Renaissance Center in Huntington.

Len Trent (Macduff), Jonathan Maynard (Lennox), Tish Maynard (Lady Macduff, nurse), Brian Cook (Ross), Roger Hagley (Angus), Sarah Diamond Burroway (witch), Gregory Picklesimer (Donalbain) and Sheila Meade (witch) have roles in the classic Shakespearean tragedy directed by T. Michael Murdock.

Murdock, who has appeared in other ARTS performances and who has experience performing Shakespeare in the United States and England, said ARTS president Bil Neal suggested he direct a show.

“My first inclination was to do something scary and brutal for Halloween,” he said. “‘Macbeth’ is exactly that.”

Even though many think Shakespeare seems foreign, it shouldn’t.

“Sometimes people don’t realize just how much of our television dramas and comedies and even films are rooted deeply in Shakespeare and other classics. I wanted to prove that audiences would come out to see not only a non-musical, but also a classical non-musical, in a more contemporary setting.”

It’s taken Murdock about six months to prepare for the show, making cuts and combining some smaller roles to create meatier roles for fewer actors. While many themes run through the play, Murdock said he’s mainly interested in the human factor.

“While (Macbeth) may believe in the dark magic, it's not forcing him to do the terrible things he does. He has free will, just like we all do — the strength of his beliefs sway him, but ultimately he’s a man who allows his ambition, his wife and his greed get the best of him. It could happen to real people, just like any of us, and it has throughout history.”

The cast and crew worked on the show for about two months. Murdock said rehearsals have been intense because of the challenging language of the play but actors, many with little theater experience, are doing a great job of understanding the play and communicating the actions to the audience.

“I’m blown away every night with how well they are telling this timeless story of murder and mayhem,” he said. “We do have a few veteran Shakespearean actors, but everyone started out on the same level and worked this show from the ground up. We tore the play down and built it back from scratch.”

Murdock said he hopes the show proves that doing Shakespeare is fun.

“This show has everything — it’s sexy, it’s bloody, it’s scary — there’s sword fighting and explosions and some of the coolest lighting and special effects you’ll ever see live,” he said, noting he believes the audience will gain a new respect and enjoyment from the Bard.

“I can’t wait for people to see it. It's not just going to be an event, it’s going to be an experience. And it’s going to be like nothing anyone has seen in the Tri-State in a really, really long time, if ever,” he said.

“We’re breaking new ground. We’re kicking the bar up for not only non-musicals, but all community theatre in this area. We’re shooting for ‘wow factor’ and I think audiences will walk away talking about this show for quite awhile.”

Text Only
Local News
  • 0723bcfair0083.jpg Boyd County Fair in full swing

    Arriving at the Boyd County Fairgrounds last night, ears were filled with the sounds of children’s laughter, grown-up chatter and the screams of those individuals brave enough to partake of the weathered rides.

    July 22, 2014 4 Photos

  • Cans, trailer and moving dollies reported stolen to APD

    A thief targeted recyclables in a heist at the Pollard Place group home Friday.

    July 22, 2014

  • McConnell co-sponsors bill to protect correctional officers

    U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell co-sponsored legislation to help protect correctional officers and staff at Federal Bureau of Prison facilities.

    July 22, 2014

  • School discrimination suit settled

    A former Greenup County schools custodian has settled his federal racial discrimination suit against the school district, but the terms will not be made public.

    July 22, 2014

  • Family trip detour provides military thrill for 10-year-old

    Jeremy Crawford’s idea of a good time is a seat beside his papaw, watching their favorite World War II movies.

    July 22, 2014

  • Highlands marks year of progress

    This time last year, the Highlands Museum and Discovery Center was facing an eviction notice. Now, the museum is celebrating a year’s worth of progress where not only does it have ownership of its Winchester Avenue building, but is seeing an upswing in exhibition attendance.

    July 22, 2014

  • First lady recognizes Morehead

    Kentucky first lady Jane Beshear said Morehead’s achievement in finally reaching Trail Town certification exemplifies the strength and dedication of the small town community during her address Tuesday at the Rowan County Arts Center.

    July 22, 2014

  • Local in brief: 7/23/14

    The inaugual Ride for Autism will be Aug. 23, starting and ending at Callihan’s American Pub & Grill at the Kyova Mall, including a stop at Carter Caves State Resort Park.

    July 22, 2014

  • 0723trailtown.jpg First lady recognizes Morehead Trail Town status

    Kentucky first lady Jane Beshear said Morehead’s achievement in finally reaching “Trail Town” certification exemplifies the strength and dedication of the small town community during her address Tuesday at the Rowan County Arts Center.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • McConnell co-sponsors bill to protect correctional officers

    U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell co-sponsored legislation to help protect correctional officers and staff at Federal Bureau of Prison (BOP) facilities.

    July 22, 2014