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4/19/2006 Shakespeare classic caps Linfield theatre season

Shakespeare classic caps Linfield theatre season

McMINNVILLE ? William Shakespeare's "Macbeth," a classic tale of ambition and deception , will be produced with some new twists at Linfield College's Marshall Theatre in May.

The tragedy centers on the nature of ambition, conscience and the human heart. Fueled by the witches' prophecies of greatness and invincibility, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth travel the ruinous path of evil and must suffer the consequences of their actions.

While director Janet Gupton intends to be as true as possible to the classic plot of the play, several twists will give the production unique qualities.

"I am exploring a cross-cultural approach to this production," said Gupton, assistant professor of theatre and communication arts at Linfield. "We are working with the set and costume designers to create a primitive world full of clans, tribes and warriors that never really existed but could have."

One major difference in the Linfield production of "Macbeth" is the character of Banquo, normally a male role, will be played by a female. Sophomore Katie Dolph is excited about taking on the character of Banquo.

"I am held to the male standard of portraying the noble solider who dies tragically at the hand of ambition," said Dolph. "But at the same time I have the opportunity to create a role that represents the strength and power of women."

The performance will feature Taiko drum accompaniment composed and recorded by Chris Keaveney, assistant professor of Japanese, and the Linfield Taiko Drum Club. It will also include an abbreviated Japanese tea ceremony, Javanese shadow puppets, live action stage combat with swords, knives and quarterstaffs and other primitive rituals designed by the cast and Gupton.

The set, designed by Ty Marshall, professor of theatre and communication arts, is reminiscent of a Japanese garden with features including sand, water, fire and stone. A large translucent rotating disk will also be featured in the production to display the shadow puppetry.

The theatre will be in a thrust arrangement with the audience seated on three sides. Gupton

chose this set-up not only because it allows the most audience members into the theatre, but also because it provides room on stage for the 26-member cast. Tradition also dictated the arrangement.

"Shakespeare wrote for the Globe Theatre," said Gupton. "While it wasn't thrust to the degree of our theatre, the space was arranged with audience members sitting on three sides."

The production will also feature two community members. Miriam Peterson, daughter of Jeff Peterson, associate professor of sociology and anthropology, will portray Fleance. McKenzie Barnes of McMinnville will play Macduff's daughter.

The Linfield Theatre Department chooses plays that will best showcase students and is of interest to the Linfield and McMinnville communities, according to Gupton. The 2005-2006 season focused on exploring international theatre. In addition to "Macbeth," students participated in "A Corpse with Feet," a Japanese play, and "Woyzeck," a German play.

Performances will be May 4-6 and 11-13 at 8 p.m., and May 7 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for students, Linfield faculty and staff, and seniors (62+).

Tickets for "Macbeth" can be reserved by calling 503-883-2292 or by e-mail at theatre@linfield.edu. Tickets may be purchased in Ford Hall from 3 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, with expanded hours on performance days.

To reach Ford Hall from 99W turn east on Keck Drive at the McMinnville Market Center in south McMinnville. Turn right on Lever Street and right again on Ford Drive. Ford Hall is located at the west end of the parking lot.