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IN SPITE OF THUNDER: The Macbeth Project A de-/re-constructed look at “The Scottish Play”

April 4-12, 2014

By William Shakespeare Adapted by Suzan Zeder and Jim Hancock


SET TING Time: About now‌ There will be a 10-minute INTERMISSION The Wisconsin premiere of In Spite of Thunder:The Macbeth Project is presented by special arrangement with the playwright. CAST Thomas Sebald..................................................................... Ensemble, Banquo, Acts IV & V Macbeth Marah Nitz......................................................................................Ensemble, Acts IV &V Lady Macbeth Joshua Scheibe............................................................................. Ensemble, Macduff, Act III Macbeth Katlyn Rogers......................................................................Ensemble, Malcolm, Act III Lady Macbeth Zachary Stohlman................................................................Ensemble, King Duncan, Act II Macbeth Megan Ann Jacobs................................................................................Ensemble, Act II Lady Macbeth Abednego Samudera.......................................................................................Ensemble, Act I Macbeth Elaina Helmen.......................................................................................... Ensemble, Act I Lady Macbeth Grant Coppersmith.................................................................................................................. Percussionist P R O D U C T I O N S TA F F Director.............................................................................................................................Prof. Simon Provan Scene Design..................................................................................................................... Prof. Jay Sierszyn Lighting Design..................................................................................................................Aaron Siegmann Costume Design.....................................................................................................................Tiffany Decker Stage Manager........................................................................................................................Erika Peterson Assistant Stage Manager/Scenic..........................................................................................Ben Adickes Asstistant Stage Manager/Props...............................................................................Kerruan Sheppard Assistant Props.......................................................................................................................Katy Brodesser Costume Research..................................................................................................................... Emma Prost Costume Coordinator/Hair & Makeup..........................................................................Keela Frederick Sound Technician/Board Operator................................................................................... Ashley DeVos Light Board Operator.............................................................................................. Franco Verges Moore Scenic Assistants......................................................................................Maria Carter, Thaddeus Bruno Theatre Dept. Resident Technical Director...............................................................Aaron Siegmann Theatre Department Faculty.................................................................... Simon Provan, Jay Sierszyn Theatre Dept. Administrative Staff....................................................Michelle East, Keela Frederick, Elaina Helmen, Kyle Marti Theatre Dept. Technical Staff..................................Ben Adickes (Shop Manager), Ashley DeVos, Brenda Kolell (Team Leader), Adam Kurth, Kaylin Pappenfuss, Katlyn Rogers (Costume Manager), Tom Sebald, Franco Verges Moore

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PRODUCTION NOTES A man with a thirst for power whose over-ambition causes him to use, abuse, and discard his closet friends for his own purposes. Sound familiar? Perhaps this describes someone you know in your personal life. Perhaps this describes you. I think it’s safe to assume we all can apply this description to certain figures, past and present, from the world of politics. Power, corruption, and greed have been with us since the fall of man, which makes Macbeth’s story a timeless piece of theatre and literature. Research shows that Shakespeare may have been inspired to pen The Tragedy of Macbeth by the events of The Gunpowder Plot, which occurred in 1606. A Yorkshire solider named Guido or Guy Fawkes had planted a massive amount of explosives under the House of Lords, aiming to kill the royal family and their kinsman “all at one thunderclap.” While investigating this crime, it was discovered that Fawkes was part of a wide web of conspiracy, which extended to the upper echelons of the Jesuit church. Father Henry Garnet, Jesuit Superior, was hanged after claiming during his trial that he had the right to equivocate, that is, “to offer non-declarative or confusing statements,” as to not incriminate himself. Equivocation repeats itself throughout the story of Macbeth, both in its original text and in the text that we have used for this performance. The Weird Sisters, also known as witches, frequently use statements that could mean several things. Macbeth, however, tends to latch onto the first interpretation he hears, thus leading him to act quickly without much thought. So the question is, what does all of this have to do with us? The simple answer: Everything. Do we not all fall prey to knee-jerk reactions? As discussed above, do we not all know someone whose ambition for relevance causes that person to treat others in most unkind ways? In today’s instant-gratification world, has our culture not lost the art of patience, causing many people to make irrational decisions at times when thought and prayer would be much more effective? And as far as the use of equivocation, all one has to do is turn on the TV (or these days, go to Youtube to watch a video) and listen to interviews with embattled politicians, leaders of businesses and non-profits, or, just as in 1606, listen to court room hearings. If not on the TV, listen to a classmate or colleague justify a bad decision to their superior. Or, perhaps, listen to yourself. IN SPITE OF THUNDER: THE MACBETH PROJECT takes the quick-paced story of Macbeth and gives it a fresh-look. To add to this “freshness,” we have placed this story in a contemporary time period, paralleling the idea of medieval kingdoms with modern day gang territories. What’s more, every couple will transform into Lord and Lady Macbeth after enduring a tortuous ritual, based on a gang initiation process known as a “beat-in” or “jump-in,” thus each couple having to earn the title of Lord and Lady. Also, every performer, even those who play the “good guys,” will at some point play a witch, highlighting the spiritual/internal struggle we all go through. Though we may have the best of intentions, we all, at times, fall victim to our own ambitions, greed, and equivocating; connecting us to those who went before us. Shakespeare’s words, then, remain just as true today as they did yesterday.

In Spite of Thunder: The Macbeth Project

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PLAY WRIGHT Suzan Zeder has been recognized nationally and internationally as one of the leading playwrights for young and family audiences in the United States. Her plays have been produced in all 50 states by professional, university and community theatres. Her work has also been seen in Canada, England, France, Switzerland, Greece, Israel, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. Dr. Zeder is a four-time winner of the Distinguished Play Award by the American Alliance of Theatre and Education and has served as a panelist and site reporter for the National Endowment for the Arts and Theatre Communications Group. In 1998 she was inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Theatre and in 2002 she was elected to the Academy of Distinguished Teachers at the University of Texas at Austin. In 2004 she co-authored a book, The Spaces of Creation: The Creative Process of Playwriting, with her husband, movement specialist, Jim Hancock. Dr. Zeder is the former head of playwriting at the University of Texas at Austin, where she held the Endowed Chair in Theatre for Youth/Playwriting. She currently lives in Santa Fe, N.M. The Edge of Peace completes a trilogy of plays including Mother Hicks andThe Taste of Sunrise, spanning 30 years of her writing life. BIOGR APHIES Benjamin Adickes (Assistant Stage Manager) started his career here four years ago with acting; it’s only fitting that he should bookend it with tech. Even though he’s not technically part of the ensemble for this production, he is still able to serve his fellow actors with the talents and abilities God has granted him and would not have it any other way.

Maria Carter (Scenic Assistant) is a freshman English major planning to be an editor. This is her first theatre production at WLC and she will be staying behind the scenes where she likes it.  She would like to personally thank her family and friends for supporting and encouraging her.

Grant Coppersmith (On-Stage Percussion) is a freshman Nursing major. This is his first production at WLC, but Thaddeus Bruno he is not shy to working (Scenic Assistant) is in the theatre. After ecstatic about helping doing many shows with Wausau Theatre, to build the set for In he is looking forward to participating in as Spite of Thunder. many shows as he can here. He would like Thaddeus has appeared to thank his wonderful Next to Normal across many stages in family, and his supportive girlfriend for all Milwaukee, including that of The Chamber they do. Theatre (Medea’s son in Medea), The Milwaukee Reparatory Theatre (four years Tiffany Decker (Guest Costume Designer) of A Christmas Carol) and recently at WLC in worked previously with Professor Provan The Importance of Being Ernest. He thanks on several shows at the University of his parents for continuous support! Wisconsin-Sheboygan. THUNDER marks Tiffany’s WLC debut as costume designer. Other theatres for which she has designed include UW-Manitowoc, St. Croix Valley 4

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BIOGR APHIES

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Summer Theatre, Sheboygan Theatre Company, Attic Theatre and Masquers Inc. “To Jed, I love you and I’ll be home soon!” Ashley DeVos (Sound Technician) is a sophomore Art major, who can be found working on her newest piece of artwork when she is not busy with theatre. Her previous theatre involvement most recently includes the positions of Stage Manager for Talents and Admirers and Master Electrician for The Importance of Being Earnest. She would like to thank everyone who has supported her in her theatre involvement.

Megan Ann Jacobs (Ensemble) is no stranger to the Raabe Theatre, having appeared most recently as Migyevna in Talents and Admirers, and Becky in Becky’s New Car. While Megan does not make it her hobby to convince the males in her life to commit mass murder, she could not be more stoked to explore the role of Lady Macbeth and the many other roles this production offers. Confident this ensemble twist will rebirth this classic tale, Megan is grateful to have this opportunity.

Marah Nitz (Ensemble) is a freshman intending to major in Theatre and Keela Frederick Psychology. This is her (Costumes/Hair/Makefirst experience with an up) is a sophomore “ensemble-piece” and Theatre and Psychology couldn’t be more major. After appearing excited about it. She would like to thank as Cecily in The her theatre-family, especially her good Importance of Being Earnest and Matryona Talents and Admirers friend Keela, for all the laughs and support. this past season, she is pleased to be Emma Prost serving behind the scenes for this show. (Dramaturg) from She would like to thank her real family and Watertown, WI, is a her theatre family for all their support. junior majoring in English Literature with Elaina Helmen a History minor. She (Ensemble) initially was most recently seen found herself rather as Gwendolen in The Importance of Being intimidated by this Earnest as well as assisting in costume production—chiefly due to her inexperience research for Talents and Admirers. Currently she interns for Marcus Promotions and in the realms of Footlights. Shakespeare. Thanks to the undaunted motivation from the director and the Katlyn Rogers company, and the shear passion of the (Ensemble) is a language and craft, her involvement in this freshman this year and ensemble has proven to be one of the plans to major in most intense and beautiful experiences of Theatre. This is her her young career. fourth production she has been involved in, In Spite of Thunder: The Macbeth Project

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BIOGR APHIES

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most recently appearing as the Train Matron in Talents and Admirers. She would like to thank the director, cast, and crew for this irreplaceable opportunity, and for the support from her amazing family.

recently as the Tragedian in Talents and Admirers. In Spite of Thunder is his first time (hopefully of many) performing Shakespeare. Lots of love to his family in Phoenix, Arizona. Soli Deo Gloria.

Abednego Samudera (Ensemble) is delighted to be involved in his first ensembleproduction. Thunder marks his second Shakespeare on the Raabe stage having been seen as Antigonus being pursued by a bear in The Winter’s Tale. Other shows include New York, The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940, Becky’s New Car, The Importance of Being Earnest and Talents and Admirers. He would like to thank WLC Theatre for this opportunity, the cast and crew of the show, and his family and friends for their continuous support.

Kerruan Sheppard (Assistant Stage Manager/Props Master) has recently appeared as Merriman in The Importance of Being Earnest, and Ivan in Talents and Admirers. He is proud to be Assistant Stage Manager and Props Master for In Spite of Thunder. He loves the cast and the director. He wishes them a good show.

Joshua Scheibe (Ensemble) is a junior Theatre and English double-major and has appeared in eight Raabe Theatre productions, most recently as Dr. Chasuble in The Importance of Being Earnest. He loves working with Shakespearean texts—it allows him to combine his two primary interests. He would like to thank God for the many opportunities he’s had to hone his talents, as well as those who have supported him. Thomas Sebald (Ensemble) is a sophomore Theatre major. Past credits include: The Bending of the Bow, Bee-LutherHatchee, Becky’s New Car, Jack ‘Ernest’ Worthing in The Importance of Being Earnest, and most 6

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Aaron Siegmann (Resident Technical Director and Lighting Designer) is pleased to return to WLC. Since graduating in 2010, Aaron has worked in Madison for Forward Theater and Children’s Theater of Madison. In addition to WLC, he is currently working for the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Florentine Opera, and in May will be returning to the American Players Theatre for his fifth season. He is proud to share his expertise and give back to the department which gave him his start. Zachary Stohlman (Ensemble) takes the main stage in round two of his acting career after recently playing the role of Vasya in Talents and Admirers. He is very thankful to be part of such a closely knit ensemble, department, and family for this project. Zach would also like to extend a bigger thank you to his Tragedian and good friend, Thomas Sebald for encouraging him to audition for In Spite of Thunder: The Macbeth Project.


T H E AT R E AT W L C The curriculum and activities of the Theatre Department are designed to explore, investigate and develop the creative process and cultural significance of story-telling in performance. We foster an integrated liberal arts approach distinguished by breadth in theatre study and a focus on analytical, critical, and creative thinking—especially with regard to the role of theatre in community and the application of theatre-related skills, knowledge and attitudes to many areas of life. The Major and Minor programs in theatre prepare students through a foundational understanding of the Lutheran doctrine of vocation that all labors are to be in service to one’s neighbor. To that end, the theatre program endeavors to prepare Christ-centered professional and amateur actors, artists, practitioners, managers and educators whose leadership and impact, we pray, will be significant today and tomorrow. The production programs of the department offer numerous co- and extra-curricular opportunities for all students in the college. It is our vision that through engagement with vital theatre experiences all of our students will seek to thrive as active audience members for the rest of their lives—contributing to, and therefore affecting, the broader culture in which we live. Theatre can play a role in a culture or community’s understanding of themselves and others around them. Producing theatre which is vital in a community requires exploring topics and presenting works that attempt to be truthful or seek truth—for some, many, or all of us. We certainly do not select content intending to offend, yet we acknowledge that the topic of drama is always humans, which we know are in a sinful condition— one that needs repair. Our characters and their circumstances are of a given, fictional situation—a part of a larger story—they are less often models for Christian living. It is our hope that each and every person in the audience be provoked intellectually and emotionally to consider their own life in response to the world of the play, and that the reflection and discussion continues beyond the theatre doors.

To the best dramaturg a department or company could ask for!

We are very proud of you,

Emma!

Break legs, from your fellow Footlights crew In Spite of Thunder: The Macbeth Project

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ABOUT WLC In 2013, Wisconsin Lutheran College celebrated 40 years of providing quality teaching, scholarship, and service that are rooted in Holy Scripture; promoting the spiritual growth of students, faculty, and staff; and preparing students for lives of Christian leadership. Wisconsin Lutheran College, which is ranked among the best liberal arts colleges in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, offers 37 undergraduate majors and five preprofessional programs. In addition, a Master of Arts in Education and adult degree completion programs are available both on campus and online. Visit wlc.edu/admissions to explore the programs offered. Our current total enrollment is 1178 with a student-to-faculty ratio of 12:1. The average undergraduate class size at WLC is 17; in Theatre classes it is 10. Two-thirds of the undergraduates live on-campus and hail from 29 states and 10 foreign countries. The current freshman class had a high school GPA average of 3.42 (2.70 minimum for admission) and an ACT of 24 (21 minimum for admission). 99% of full-time students are awarded some type of financial aid (priority given to FAFSA applications received by March 1). Theatre Scholarships are awarded to incoming students and may be renewed throughout the student’s time at WLC. For enrollment in Fall 2015, the audition and interview day is February 21, 2015.

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Wisconsin Lutheran College - In Spite of Thunder: The Macbeth Project