By Alexandra Witek, Staff Writer
Two seniors, Abigail Devine and Olivia Ferrigine, starred in Macbeth as part of its Two River Theater’s A Little Shakespeare series from Jan. 25th to Feb. 2nd. This educational program, one of the theater’s most popular programs, is open to all high school students. The 90-minute shows are abridged versions of Shakespeare’s most famous works and are designed to engage both young audience members and artists alike. Devine played Lady Macbeth, and Ferrigine played one of the three witches.
The play’s director, Sara Holden, adapted the production in a black box theater, where the audience members were immersed in the play itself by sitting on either side of the stage on the same level as the actors.
“The most challenging part about bringing this script to life was actually removed by the brilliance of our director,” Ferrigine said, reflecting on her experience of acting in the show. “[Holden’s] adaptation of the show was spectacular and allowed us to focus on our individual understanding of the characters and make them come to life in the ways we wanted, rather than have to worry about the show being ‘too Shakespeare’ for people… I also deeply love my character. Although I’ve had numerous people remark that it mustn’t have been difficult for me to be scary, it’s tough to describe the feeling of putting myself into a state of removed yet watchful power.”
Devine also enjoyed and embraced the challenging but rewarding experience. “The most challenging part about bringing the script to life was using Lady Macbeth’s limited text and making a whole, fully complicated person,” Devine said. “Getting to create someone from basically nothing was amazing. Also, everyone in the cast was so incredibly dedicated to the story that there was this really comforting and safe environment to explore our characters.”
The show was widely received by community members as being an immersive theatrical experience that was completely different from what many had experienced prior to seeing this show. “The take on Macbeth was different, interesting and so fun to watch,” junior Shannon Smith said. “Everything from the actors to the set to the costumes was extremely professional and it was really great to see.”
“Abigail and Olivia delivered fantastic performances,” English teacher Mariana Sierra said. “Lady Macbeth is a wonderfully complicated and dark character, and Abigail did this role justice. Olivia’s take as the lead Weird Sister was chilling and captivating. I loved the clever and updated staging; the contemporary twists made the Scottish play innovating and exciting.”