Something Wicked This Way Comes

  • The Young Shakespeare Players East will present “Macbeth” —Submitted photo

Published: 1/9/2019 10:05:01 AM
Modified: 1/9/2019 10:05:08 AM

TURNERS FALLS — Why do people commit evil? Are things really as they seem? Who can be trusted? Will there ever be peace? These are just some of the questions the actors of The Young Shakespeare Players (YSP) East are asking as they journey through the landscape of “Macbeth” by William Shakespeare, the Fall/Winter production.

Macbeth is Shakespeare’s shortest, most well-known tragedy and contains exquisite language and imagery. It is the story of how one of Shakespeare’s greatest heroes—when influenced by three witches, encouraged by his wife, and driven by his own ambition—sets out on the path to murder. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth’s lives then spiral into nightmarish darkness and despair.

YSP East believes in open casting—unlocking opportunities for actors to play roles that are typically off limits by virtue not of skill or interest but because of gender, race, age or body type. The ensemble’s 22 actors between the ages of 7-18 make up two full casts of Macbeth. Each cast is the tech crew for the other. In YSP East’s Macbeth there is a 17-year-old and a seven-year-old playing Lennox, there are male actors playing the roles of Lady Macbeth, the Waiting Gentlewoman and the Witches; and female actors playing Macbeth, Macduff, Malcolm and many other male characters.

The Young Shakespeare Players East, a volunteer run non-profit theater program founded in 2012, invites young people ages 8-18 to perform full-length works of Shakespeare. It is the very first YSP chapter outside Madison, WI, and the proud recipient of the Bardie People’s Choice Award: Best Shakespeare Educational Program (K-12). Its motto, from Hamlet, is “the readiness is all.” At YSP East there are no auditions—all participants receive substantial speaking roles.

Free Performances (with suggested sliding scale donations appreciated) at the Shea Theater, 71 Avenue A on: Friday, Jan. 18 at 6:30 p.m.; Saturday, Jan. 19 at Noon and 7 p.m.; Sunday, Jan. 20 at 1 p.m.

All ages are welcome and encouraged to attend. No reservations required. Doors open 20 minutes prior to each show. Concessions and Bard-inspired merchandise for sale, and all proceeds go to support YSP East’s Scholarship fund.




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