South Pasadena High School’s drama department will offer a free, fully produced movie version of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, streaming online on May 14 and 22. The extraordinary production of one of Shakespeare’s most popular works is packed with the scintillating mix of ghosts, witches, sword fights, and suspense expected from the famous tale of the damaging effects of boundless ambition. But due to pandemic-era restrictions, the SPHS drama department innovated a new approach to the play: Actors rehearsed for several months on Zoom and then worked in outdoor, COVID-safe rehearsals until each actor was ready to be filmed separately in front of a green screen. Performances then were edited together to create a fun combination of a recorded live production and a movie. Macbeth will stream May 14 at 7 p.m., and on May 22 at 3 and 7 p.m. at southpasdrama.com.
“I think people will be on the edge of their seats with this one,” said Nick Hoffa, SPHS drama teacher and director of the production. “Macbeth is essentially an action movie with some of the most famous lines in Western literature. It’s never dull. But this one has some surprises—including gender swapped casting in several main roles—and student actors pushed really hard to create something interesting and unique together, not to simply do a Zoom production made from their bedrooms. They took this seriously, embraced the unique production process, and brought a 500-year-old play to life with energy and commitment far beyond their years.”
SPHS’s Macbeth was filmed over eight days inside and outside the school auditorium. Students worked with a professional fight coordinator for the sword fights. Seventeen actors and four student producers were involved.
Viewers should listen closely for Macbeth’s most famous lines like “Out, damn spot,” “The milk of human kindness,” “Something wicked this way comes,” “This is a sorry sight,” and “Double, double toil and trouble”!
Macbeth is directed by Nick Hoffa, with technical direction by James Jontz. Streaming information can be found at southpasdrama.com. It will be free to view and will be broadcast as a YouTube Premiere because of the generosity of local community sponsors as well as individual donations. To donate or to find out more, please visit southpasdrama.com.
Watch the Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MsloiX4xGDo
Macbeth has mature themes and depictions of violence. Parental supervision of children under 13 is advised.
For more background on this production see our previous article at SouthPasadenan.com here