‘mac beth’ review: when teenage angst turns bloody
February 6, 2020
Hunter College’s Hunter Theater Project, which mounts professional productions under the auspices of the school’s drama department, got under way in high style in the fall of 2018 with Richard Nelson’s intimate staging of his own adaptation of “Uncle Vanya,” one of the three or four finest Chekhov productions I’ve ever seen. This season it’s presenting an 85-minute “Macbeth” of like originality and stature, performed in a tiny 122-seat theater on a thrust stage that puts the actors in your lap. Adapted and directed by Erica Schmidt and performed by a seven-woman ensemble cast, “Mac Beth” (as Ms. Schmidt’s production is officially titled) had two previous runs before coming to Hunter College, at Seattle Repertory Theatre and New York’s Red Bull Theater, both of which generated considerable buzz. Now I know why.
“medea” and “mac beth” reflect modern tragedies
February 3, 2020
The all-female cast of “Mac Beth” makes a glorious physical and aural mulch of the stage at Hunter College’s Frederick Loewe Theatre; their adolescent stomps and bangs and splashes often qualify as laugh lines, fully earned. At one point, it rains real water, sprayed from unseen sprinklers near the ceiling—the actors’ costumes go translucently soggy, the air in the theatre starts to feel tropical, and the puddles already onstage kick up glugs of water.
Review: girls just wanna play 'mac beth'
May 20th, 2019
Candy jewelry. Some baby dolls. A stash of tampons. In the world of adolescent girls, items like these are ordinary features of the landscape. And so they are in Erica Schmidt’s bloody “Mac Beth,” an adaptation of the Shakespeare play that with its all-female cast becomes a raucous, sometimes impish, very dark-edged revel.
review: mac beth
January 21st, 2020
Get thee to Hunter College to see Mac Beth.  Writer and Director Erica Schmidt has done a rare and wonderful thing – she has recontextualized a well known play – perhaps the best known play ever – in a way that illuminates rather than exploits.  Inspired by true stories of the cruelty of preadolescent girls, Schmidt has reset the infamous Scottish Play at a private girls’ school.  The passion and hyper-emotionality of prepubescent girls, whose capacity to live in a world of fantasy reaches its apotheosis right at that cusp between childhood and adolescence, is a daring lens through which to revisit Shakespeare’s dark tale of choice and consequence.
review: erica schmidt's psychologically intriguing mac beth moves uptown
January 19th, 2020
After playing downtown's Lucille Lortel Theater last as year as part of Red Bull's season, director Erica Schmidt's psychologically intriguing Shakespeare adaptation titled MAC BETH moves north for a remounting with Hunter Theater Project.
mac beth: deep in a dark, dark forest
January 18th, 2020
Before me, a tire, laying on mossy turf. A couch, tilted backward, slashed underneath. A bathtub. And, most strikingly, a pond— or a puddle more exactly. Something like a cool forest pool that, amidst the flotsam, turns menacing. The puddle has a bridge of three planks thrown carelessly across it. The backdrop looks like an abandoned church or a revered prep school. As the first witch enters, texting on her iPhone and in full uniform, I guess it is the latter. This is a master set (by scenic designer Catherine Cornell), and what unfolds across it is a master adaptation of Macbeth by William Shakespeare.
photo flash: peter dinklage and more at opening night of hunter theater project's MAC BETH
January 17th, 2020
Hunter Theater Project's production of MAC BETH, directed and adapted by Erica Schmidt, celebrated its opening night on January 16 with a party at French American bistro, Palais.
interview: in “mac beth,” director erica schmidt harnesses the ferocious power of teenage girls
January 16th, 2020
In Erica Schmidt’s wicked adaptation of “Macbeth,” seven school girls, still donning their tartan uniforms, take to an abandoned lot to perform the Bard’s famous words. Crafted from Shakespeare’s original text, the ensuing play-within-a-play lurches forward until it comes to bloody twist that blurs the line between acting and reality.
review: mac beth
May 20th, 2019
Equally giggly and grisly, Erica Schmidt's unnerving adaptation of Macbeth for Red Bull Theater features seven young actresses performing Shakespeare's tragedy as uniform-clad schoolgirls in an abandoned lot. The language is mostly the Shakespeare’s, albeit pared down to one whirlwind act. The sensibility, however, is decidedly contemporary, as these hyperactive drama queens get lost in a gruesome fantasy world that casts some of them as villains and others as victims.
an afterschool study group brushes up on ambition and murder in mac beth
May 19th, 2019
There's a mystical connection between the grisly paranormal and teenage girls. Just look at Bloody Mary or the Slender Man. Is there any doubt that if Abigail Williams of The Crucible were a teenage girl in 2019, she would have some dark fascination with the Momo Challenge? So writer-director Erica Schmidt is onto something when she reimagines Shakespeare's most supernatural tragedy as an afterschool group of private school girls studying Macbeth.