Jana Beagley

Jana Beagley

Bryon Schmidt

Bryon Schmidt

Lauren Patterson

Lauren Patterson

Essex Community Players present “Macbeth,” May 2 through 12, in matinee and evening performances at Memorial Hall, 5 Tower Road, in Essex. 

One of William Shakespeare’s most well-known tragedies, the play dramatizes the damaging physical and psychological effects of political ambition on those who seek power for its own sake.  

Directed by Nan Murat and produced by Becky Millard, ECP’s “Macbeth” draws a talented cast from several communities. Representing South Burlington are Jana Beagley, Lauren Patterson and Bryon Schmidt.

“One reason I’m so excited about this production is because people often view Shakespeare as stodgy and boring,” says Murat. “Our team has worked hard to smash that image.”

The play tells the story of the title character, a warrior hero, who receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that he will one day become King of Scotland. Consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife, Macbeth murders King Duncan and takes the Scottish throne for himself, only to fall into a spiral of guilt and paranoia. 

“Our director, Nan Murat, decided on open casting for the show, ensuring she selected the best actor for each role regardless of age, race, or gender identity,” said Millard. “There are no small parts in our production; our team of 11 actors collectively performs 37 roles throughout the show. We’re keeping most of the roles under wraps until we unveil the show on May 2. We think the audiences will be as excited as we are to see the magic these actors create on stage.”

Beagley, who created the annual Nightmare Vermont event, said about one of the roles she plays, “Being a witch in ‘Macbeth’ is possibly the height of typecasting for me, as I live most of my life as an aspiring bog-witch. I adore the shows exploration of ambition, courage and the costs of transgression.’

As part of ECP’s “Essex Gives Back” program, all donations collected at the intermission concessions table will be donated to Association of Africans living in Vermont. which helps new Americans from all parts of the world gain independence in their new communities.  

For show dates and times, along with ticket information, visit essexplayers.com.

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