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macbethRochester Community Players: Shakespeare Program presents “Macbeth” this month at the Highland Bowl.

Directed by Jean Gordon Ryon, the story follows Macbeth’s twisted journey as he moves from ambition to murder in pursuit of the crown. Macbeth starts out as a hero when he aids in stopping a rebellion against the reigning monarch. But when three witches predict that Macbeth will soon be king, he makes this prophesy real by killing the monarch he defended to steal the crown.

This sets off a chain reaction of blood spillage; in order to hide his crime, he must keep killing until Scotland is covered in blood. But Macbeth can never rest easy, so he begs the witches for more knowledge in the hopes of gaining peace.

“Our production of Macbeth takes place in medieval Scotland, a world just emerging from the Dark Ages, where civilization is underscored with violence and ruthlessness, and sinister unknowable elements toy with the destinies of man. Blood flows freely and fear reigns when Scottish lords seize power instead of earning it,” says Ryon. “The play is both an action-packed thriller and a fascinating psychological study. Macbeth finds that when he is forced to live a lie, his life becomes worthless.”

Ken Dauer designed the abstract set, and it is neutral enough to serve as multiple settings in the play, but suggests a stone or wooden henge, which contributes to the primal feel of the production. By staging the production outdoors, the natural darkening of light runs parallel to the darkening of the story and lends special significance to the surrounding trees during the play’s final battle.

Play runs Friday, July 12 to Saturday, July 27. rochestercommunityplayers.org

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