Richard Termine for The New York Times
On an autumn afternoon, in an empty lot outside the city, seven school girls meet up to perform a play. In an urban wasteland, the girls in their tartan school uniforms transform into witches, ghosts, and kings. They hurl headlong into the unchecked passions of Macbeth—in Shakespeare’s original text—as the line between real life and blood fantasy quickly blurs. Through prophecies and smartphones, blood and Beyonce, unexpected resonances emerge from Shakespeare’s dark nightmare of ambition gone awry, while at the same time, these young women discover what’s done cannot be undone.
Mac Beth, which runs 90 minutes with no intermission, originally premiered in 2018 at Seattle Repertory Theatre. Red Bull Theater’s production played from May 7 through June 9, 2019 at the Lucille Lortel Theatre, where the run was extended by popular demand.
CAST & CREATIVE
Brittany Bradford (macbeth). NYC/Regional credits: Bernhardt/Hamlet, Fiasco’s Merrily We Roll Along (Roundabout); Fefu and Her Friends (Theatre for a New Audience); For Colored Girls... (Public Theater); Flyin’ West (Westport Country Playhouse); Family Resemblance (Eugene O’Neill); The Profane and Taming of the Shrew (Chautauqua Theater Company); Midsummer Night’s Dream (Ten Thousand Things Theatre); Neighbors, Avenue Q, and Next to Normal (Mixed Blood Theatre); Ragtime and Stick Fly (Park Square Theatre).
Dylan Gelula (witch 1) emerged in 2016 after her breakout performance in FIRST GIRL I LOVED, which won the NEXT Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival. Her TV credits include Netflix's critically-acclaimed UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT, where she played Jane Krakowski’s stepdaughter 'Xanthippe,' and a recurring role in the second season of Hulu’s Golden Globe-nominated show CASUAL, executive produced by Jason Reitman. Dylan's next TV appearance will be a recurring arc on the Showtime series SHAMELESS. She can also be seen in Max Winkler's FLOWER, opposite Zoey Deutch, Adam Scott, and Kathryn Hahn; Andrew Bujalski’s SUPPORT THE GIRLS, which premiered at SXSW in 2018 to reviews; UNDER THE EIFFEL TOWER opposite Matt Walsh; and alongside Elisabeth Moss in Alex Ross Perry's HER SMELL. Her next feature appearance will be opposite Alison Brie in Jeff Baena's Netflix project, HORSE GIRL.
Sophie Kelly-Hedrick (witch 2) is a sophomore at NYU Tisch. She is currently studying in Playwrights Horizons Theatre School. She made her Off-Broadway debut in Mac Beth, after previously performing in the regional production at Seattle Repertory Theatre. Sophie hails from Mercer Island, WA.
Ismenia Mendes (Lady Macbeth). Credits include Marys Seacole (LCT3), Bernie and Mikey’s Trip to the Moon (59E59), The Liar (CSC), Troilus and Cressida, Much Ado About Nothing (The Public - Delacorte), Grand Concourse, Your Mother’s Copy of the Kama Sutra (Playwrights Horizons), The Wayside Motor Inn (Signature Theater), Family Furniture (The Flea), Baby Screams Miracle (Clubbed Thumb). TV/Film: Tali Grapes on “Orange is the New Black,” Anja Jacobs on “High Maintenance” (HBO) “The Devil You Know” (HBO pilot: Jenji Kohan/Gus Van Sant). She was a 2018 recipient of Red Bull Theater’s Matador Award for Excellence in Classical Theater. Training: Juilliard.
Ayana Workman (BANQUO). Off-Broadway: The Price of Thomas Scott (Mint Theater) Romeo and Juliet, The Winter’s Tale (The Public Theater), Dos Worlds (Trinity Church), Macbeth (Masterfool Theater Company). Regional: Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley (Cincinnati Playhouse in The Park), Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare Theater Company). International: Julius Caesar at the Globe Theatre (London, England); Virtual Truth at Bunker Theatre (Ljubljana, Slovenia); and Guernica Continuum at SNG Maribor (Maribor, Slovenia). TV: “Person of Interest,” “Jessica Jones.” Ayana received her BFA from Mason Gross School of The Arts at Rutgers University.
Erica Schmidt (director, adaptation). Directing credits include: Mac Beth (Seattle Rep, Red Bull Theater); Richard II with Robert Sean Leonard (The Old Globe); Cyrano and All the Fine Boys at The New Group (writer and director); Turgenev’s A Month In The Country (Classic Stage Company); Dennis Kelly’s Taking Care Of Baby (Manhattan Theatre Club); Jonas Hassen Khemiri’s I Call My Brothers and the Obie Award-winning Invasion! (both for The Play Company); Humor Abuse (co-creator/writer) – Lucille Lortel Award; (Manhattan Theatre Club, Philadelphia Theatre Company, American Conservatory Theatre, Seattle Rep and The Taper); Rent (Tokyo); Moliere’s Imaginary Invalid, Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya, Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Sorcerer and Copland’s The Tender Land (all at Bard Summer Scape); Carnival (The Paper Mill Playhouse); Quincy Long’s People Be Heard (Playwrights Horizons); Gary Mitchell’s Trust (The Play Company, Callaway Award nominee); As You Like It (The Public Theater/NYSF, chashama; New York International Fringe Festival Winner for Best Direction); Debbie Does Dallas (wrote the adaptation and directed Off-Broadway for The Araca Group); Spanish Girl (Second Stage). Princess Grace Award recipient 2001.
Catherine Cornell (scenic designer). A selection of Catherine’s work includes: Seattle Repertory Theatre (Mac Beth, Buyer and Cellar); Heritage Theatre Festival (Harvey); University of Michigan (Cloud Nine); Seattle Public Theater (Dry Land, The Liar); Book-It Repertory Theatre (American Junkie, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Tale for the Time Being, Slaughterhouse Five, Truth Like the Sun, and their Arts and Education Tour); ACTLab (Red Light Winter, 25 Saints, and Buzzer); Village Theatre KIDSTAGE (Les Miserables, Crazy For You); Strawberry Theatre Workshop (Frost/Nixon); NCTC (Bright Half Life). Her next design will be A Year of Magical Thinking with ACT Theatre.
Jessica Pabst (costume designer). Broadway: Marvin’s Room, The Heidi Chronicles. Recent Off-Broadway: The Amateurs (Vineyard Theatre); Log Cabin, A Life, Rancho Viejo, The Qualms, Marjorie Prime, The Whale (Playwrights Horizons); The Cost of Living, The Ruins of Civilization, Taking Care of Baby, Murder Ballad (Manhattan Theatre Club); and Fortress of Solitude (The Public Theater). Jessica’s work has also been seen at Lincoln Center, Second Stage, Primary Stages, Atlantic Theatre Company, The New Group, and The Juilliard School. Regional: Actors Theatre of Louisville, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Long Wharf, Two River, Dallas Theatre Center, Children’s Theatre Company, and Center Theatre Group. 2013 Lucille Lortel Award. Drama Desk, Henry Hewes, IRNE award nominations.
Jeff Croiter (Lighting Designer). Broadway: Falsettos; Bandstand; Holiday Inn; Something Rotten; Disaster; Penn & Teller; Newsies; Peter and the Starcatcher; Mothers and Sons; A Time to Kill; Jekyll & Hyde; The Pee-wee Herman Show; Next Fall; Kiki & Herb. Off-Broadway includes: The Other Josh Cohen; Daniel’s Husband; The True; Smokey Joe’s Café; Jerry Springer: The Opera; Tiny Beautiful Things; The Cost of Living; Sweet Charity; The Last Five Years; Almost Maine; Ordinary Days. Other credits include The Big Apple Circus; Penn & Teller (Vegas); Jennifer Muller/The Works. Received Tony, Hewes and Bass Awards and Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Lortel, Ovation, Irne and AUDELCO nominations.
Erin Bednarz (sound designer) is a performer, producer, dramaturg, DJ, and designer. Off Broadway: The Convent (Rattlestick Theater). National: American Repertory Theatre, Magic Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre, On The Boards, American Contemporary Theatre Seattle, and more. Design Residencies: University of Washington, Seattle University, Cornish College of the Arts. Erin recently became the first female Gregory Award recipient in outstanding sound design. Erin is co-founder of new play accelerator Umbrella Project, resident sound designer at Washington Ensemble Theatre, and incoming advanced sound design instructor at Cornish College of the Arts. Find out more here.
Lorenzo Pisoni (movement coordinator). Broadway: Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus, Beetlejuice, Frozen, Noises Off. Off Broadway: All the Fine Boys, Harlequin Studies. Other Credits: Pickle Family Circus, Cirque Du Soleil. As an actor, Lorenzo’s work on and off Broadway has been recognized with Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel, Obie, Outer Critics Circle awards.
HUNTER THEATER PROJECT (HTP) is a resource serving Hunter College and New York City. College-wide in scope, it links productions created by top-rank professional theater artists with the college’s teaching, learning, and research mission, giving vivid expression to subjects across the curriculum.
Hunter College president Jennifer J. Raab announced today that Hunter Theater Project will present a strictly limited return engagement for Red Bull Theater’s critically acclaimed production of Mac Beth, adapted and directed by Erica Schmidt, from the play by William Shakespeare.
The production will play seven weeks only from Monday, January 6 through Saturday, February 22, 2020, with opening night on Tuesday, January 21 at the Frederick Loewe Theatre, East 68th Street, between Park and Lexington Avenues. Tickets ($49, $15 for students with ID, with no service charge)
a note from producer GREGORY MOSHER
The Hunter Theater Project, which launched with a production of Uncle Vanya, sprang in part from a graduate course I taught at Columbia in which we tried to figure out a better model – not to get too grand, we called it a gizmo - for connecting theater artists and what the theater visionary Peter Brook calls a “willing audience.” Fifty years earlier, a generation of young American producers had created a gizmo that we now refer to, generally, as the not-for-profit theater. It quickly became the norm; it’s hard to imagine an institutional theater without seasons, subscriptions, artistic/managing directors, and large administrative staffs. We thought it would be both fun and educational, even perhaps useful, to imagine a few new possible versions for the 21 century.
In considering what might be attractive to artists and audiences of their generation, my students didn’t find these built-in features especially compelling. Given the variety of work available in most large or even large-ish American cities, there was less inclination to ask audiences to commit to five plays from one theater. We noted that commercial productions are assembled with relatively small teams, and so forth. Above all, my young colleagues felt ticket prices across the board have grown burdensome to not just young people but almost anyone who works in the theater, not to mention the generally less affluent.
The Hunter Theater Project is a modest effort to begin afresh, generating the simplest possible mechanism to support what happens when the audience and artists connect each evening. We’re going to do our best to see that the creators and facilitators are, in Hamlet’s words, well-bestowed, and trust them to do their best. As for audiences, we skipped both the “season” and a formal Membership program. Everyone is in effect a Member of the HTP.
The theater has often advanced because it added things. Electric lights have a distinct advantage over candles. Sometimes, though, we need to try to get back to simpler forms: the daylit theaters of the Elizabethan age, Grotowski’s cauldron, and Brook’s empty space, to name just a few famous examples. These were – and still are in Brook’s case - theaters where talented actors and diverse audiences can collide and connect in a relatively intimate and unadorned space, everyone aware of each other, joined simply by being alive in tumultuous times.
- Gregory Mosher
PLAN YOUR VISIT
695 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10065
Entrance on 68th Street btwn Park and Lexington Avenue
6 to 68th St. Hunter College
F or Q to 63rd St. Lexington Ave
N, Q, R, 6, 4, & 5 to 59th St. Lexington Ave
The Loewe Theater is on the north side of 68th St, just west of Lexington Ave.