MACBETH by William Shakespeare Edited by the Folger Shakespeare Library Adapted by Carolyn Silverberg
This year marks the 400th anniversary of the First Folio, which was a publication that had all of Shakespeare's plays in one place, many of them appearing in print for the very first time. If we didn't have the First Folio, we likely would have lost 18 of Shakespeare's plays forever, including Macbeth. So let's give a round of applause to the unsung heroes -- Shakespeare's friends and former colleagues John Heminge and Henry Condell, who had the foresight to put these plays together.
Macbeth interestingly is also the shortest of all of Shakespeare's tragedies (at 2,477 lines versus Hamlet's 4,030 lines). Don't worry, you won't be sitting through an uncut version tonight. But it is interesting to note the severe difference between these two tragedies. Why is Macbeth so drastically short compared to Hamlet? I think the answer is simple: Hamlet thinks while Macbeth acts.
Time is a constant in this play. We're reminded of it throughout. Because the Macbeth's take matters into their own hands, time is thrown out of whack. Not only is it dark when it's the middle of the day, but things move fast. Their desire to make their "future in the instant" is the catalyst for the speed of which the events of the play unfold.
But now, what would have happened if Macbeth had taken a page out of Hamlet's book and just taken a little bit more time to think instead of rushing into action? It's something we can probably all apply to our own lives as well. How many of us have heard a rumor or misinterpreted someone's Facebook post or decided to confront someone after one too many glasses of wine, and acted immediately out of pure gut and emotion instead of first taking time to think or ask questions to get clarity and understanding? We too often, like Macbeth, make the very firstlings of our hearts be the firstlings of our hands.
At the core, Shakespeare's characters are some of the most beautiful examples of what it means to be human. And Macbeth, in his hastiness, paranoia, guilt, ambition, love, and fallibility, has a magnifying glass on him with Shakespeare essentially telling us, "we all possess these traits because we're all human, but it's how we choose to act that either make these traits a blessing or a curse." This is why Shakespeare's plays and characters still endure today -- because we can see part of ourselves in them, and we continue to learn from them.
CAST (in alphabetical order)
Lennox JERAH DOXTATOR Porter/Siward MIKE ESERKALN
Banquo ERIC WESTPHAL Lady Macduff/Angus RACHEL ZIOLKOWSKI
Director Carolyn Silverberg | Assistant Director Teresa Aportela Sergott | Stage Manager Elizabeth Jolly Assistant Stage Manager Maggie Sergott | Costumes Debra Jolly | Fight Choreographer Curt Christnot Fight Captain Grace Sergott | Artistic Director Mary Ehlinger
JERAH DOXTATOR (Lennox) is a Midwest based actor, musician, and singer. Previous credits include Lloyd Sidwell in Deadly Games at the Hotel Excelsior (Cardboard Theater), Egeus/Moondust in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Play-by-Play Theatre), and Don Pedro (Much Ado About Nothing (Play-by-Play Theatre). He would like to thank Play-by-Play for creating such a wonderful and enriching opportunity to perform Shakespeare in Green Bay.
MIKE ESERKALN (Porter/Lord) owns and produces ComedyCity and Cardboard Theatre. He also makes art www.eserkaln.com
CAITLYN GILLMAN (Fleance/Macduff's Son/Messenger) is very excited to be part of the Macbeth cast. Macbeth is Caitlyn’s Shakespeare debut. Her favorite past performances include The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe (Aslan) and The Jungle Book (Gamma). She is grateful for director Carolyn Silverberg and her faith in Caitlyn’s skills. She'd like to thank her friends and family for their endless support and chauffeur service.
ELIZABETH JOLLY (Stage Manager) hails from Abrams, WI where she is very involved as an actor and director in her local community theater, Abrams Spotlight Productions, Inc. She graduated from St. Norbert College in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in Theatre Studies and Classical Studies and following that completed a conservatory program in acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in NYC. Recent Play-by-Play credits include Stage Managing for Lincoln & Liberty Too, Much Ado About Nothing, Romeo and Juliet, and performing inWords, Words, Words (Kafka). She also recently appeared in Theatre Z's production of The Father.
HANNA JORGENSEN (Witch/Gentlewoman) is so happy and honored to be performing Shakespeare again with Play-by-Play. This her second show with them, her last role was Lady Capulet in Romeo & Juliet. She is truly blown away by the talent and dedication of this cast and can’t wait to show Green Bay this wonderful production!
JOSIAH KALIQ (Macbeth) This is Josiah’s first foray into the illustrious world of Shakespeare, and he is honored to be taking the journey with the amazing cast of Macbethin his first Play-by-Play Theatre production. When he is not acting, Josiah enjoys spending time with his family, reading, and eating french fries. Josiah would like to thank his fiancé Morgan, his mother Keziah, and the rest of his family for their encouragement, the community of Green Bay for its continued support of the arts, and Willow Zee for showing him how to, once again, use his imagination!
WILL KNAAPEN (Macduff) s a Green Bay local who has been involved in theater in the area for the past five years, including several Shakespeare productions. This summer has been especially busy, with three different shows in two months! Thanks to everyone involved for their hard work and talent in bringing Macbeth to life!
SUSAN MCALLISTER (Doctor/Old Woman/Lord) After a 35 year career as a music educator in the Green Bay Area Public Schools teaching young singers/performers and directing musicals, Susan is enjoying having the opportunity to be the one being taught and directed! She enjoyed every moment with Evergreen Theatre as Yente in Fiddler on the Roof and Mrs. Armstrong in The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. Being a part of Play-By Play Theatre’s production ofMacbeth solidifies her love of Shakespeare and her respect for the dedicated professionals and community volunteers who bring the magic of live theater to our community. Thanks to everyone involved in this production (Huzzah!), the encouragement and support of friends and family, and especially to her husband Mac.
TRAVIS MEYER (Captain/Young Siward/Murderer/Messenger) is thrilled and honored to be a part of not only his first production with Play-by-Play Theatre, but also his first Shakespeare play. Travis has previously performed in several productions with Theatre on the Bay, most notably as Reuben Soady in Escanaba in Da Moonlight, Peachy Weil in The Last Night at Ballyhoo, and Robbie the Stockfish in Urinetown the Musical. Travis is thankful to the cast and crew of Macbeth for making this an enjoyable and unforgettable experience.
MAGGIE MONTE (Witch/Seyton) an avid theater and music lover who has acted in multiple community theater shows in the area. She was a fairy in the online production of A Midsummer Night's Dream and Verges in Much Ado About Nothing with Play-by-Play. The Witches in Macbeth are some of her favorite Shakespeare characters, and she is very excited to be playing the part.
GRACE SERGOTT (Malcolm) is thrilled to be a part of her third show with Play-by-Play, after being seen onstage previously in Much Ado About Nothing and Romeo and Juliet. Grace graduated from Bradley University in ‘21 with her degree in Theatre with a concentration on Performance. As always, she would like to thank her family, her partner, and her cat for their endless support and love. You give me courage every day. Dedicated to Uncle Raúl. Enjoy the show!
MAGGIE SERGOTT (Donalbain/Assistant Stage Manager) is excited and honored to be working with Play-by-Play once again! She was assistant stage manager as well for Romeo and Juliet. Theater has been a big part of her life since she was little and she is so excited to share the experience with you all! She wants to thank her cat, Prudence, for not throwing too many things around while she was at rehearsal. Enjoy the show!
TERESA APORTELA SERGOTT (Witch/Siward/Asst. Director) Teresa’s love of Shakespeare and live theatre began when she watched her brother perform as Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing decades ago with the Atlanta Shakespeare Company. She has had the opportunity to be cast in Play-by-Play’s Romeo + Juliet (Nurse), Taming of the Shrew (Baptista), and A Midsummer Night's Dream (Peter Quince). She was most recently seen in Gypsy (Rose) with Abrams Spotlight Productions. She has also acted and directed locallywith Theatre Z and Evergreen Theatre. She dedicates this performance to her family and her brother, Raul.
CAROLYN SILVERBERG (Lady Macbeth/Director) Carolyn's love for Shakespeare began in 5th grade when her class performed Macbeth and it brought her all the way to England where she got her M.A. in Shakespeare from the University of London. Recently, she enjoyed brushing up on her violin skills for the world premiere of the original musical Lincoln & Liberty Too. In addition to her involvement with PbP, she has also performed with Abrams Spotlight Productions & Evergreen Productions and directed with Evergreen Young Actors, Studio 12, and Camp Watitoh in the Berkshires. Additionally, Carolyn has been a Shakespearean guest speaker at St. Norbert College, The Monday Shakespeare Club, Ashwaubenon High School, Preble High School, and Kimberly High School. Proud Cat-Mom to Tybalt. For Dad, always.
MARY SPENCER (Ross) is thrilled for the opportunity to once again perform Shakespeare with a tremendously talented Play-by-Play cast and crew. Recent acting credits include The Watch/ Messenger in Play-By-Play’s Much Ado About Nothing, Helen in Evergreen Theater’s Good Benches, Good Neighbors, and Jackie Cochran in Evergreen’s Fly Babies. Mary looks forward to sharing a passion for Shakespeare first sparked playing Ophelia in Southwest High School’s When Shakespeare’s Ladies Meet. Mary thanks her friends and family, Carolyn, Mary, and all who helped bring this production to life; and greater Green Bay for supporting local arts.
MIKE THOMPSON (King Duncan) After a 40 year break from live theater, Mike returns to the stage as King Duncan. He is constantly inspired by his wife, Jami, who herself is an active actress with local Green Bay community theater companies. A former pro hockey executive, Mike keeps himself busy with hockey as a coach, player, and as a long-suffering Maple Leafs fan. Now in the wine business, he enjoys spending time with his children (Sam & Kennally), family and friends, sampling as many local breweries and wineries as possible. Mike would like to thank his family and friends for their encouragement and support, and Play-by-Play for this incredible experience! ERIC WESTPHAL (Banquo) This is Eric's third outing with Play-by-Play's Theatre in the Park and he is always excited to work with them! His previous roles were as chaos creators in Oberon and Don John so it's a nice change to play one of Shakespeare's most honorable characters. Since last year's outing in the park Eric got to do a bucket list role as Adult Ralph/Narrator in A Christmas Story with Evergreen Theater. Most recently he was part of World Premiere Wisconsin, making his Forst Inn debut in area playwright Martin Prevost's Deeper Meaning. Eric has a BA in Theatre and Education from Lawrence University and can be heard weekday afternoons on 103.1 WOGB from 2-7pm
RACHEL ZIOLKOWSKI (Lady Macduff/Angus) is happily spending her fourth consecutive summer with Shakespeare! Her last Play-by-Play appearance was as Friar Lawrence in Romeo & Juliet,last Shakespeare performances was Titania and Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and last stage performances was Chris Hargenson in Carrie: The Musical. Rachel spends the rest of the year teaching elementary music, working on various music projects, practicing pointed pen calligraphy, and avidly knitting. Thank you, Carolyn and Mary, for bringing Shakespeare to Green Bay year after year!
The play begins with the brief appearance of a trio of witches and then moves to a military camp, where the Scottish King Duncan hears the news that his generals, Macbeth and Banquo, have defeated two separate invading armies—one from Ireland, led by the rebel Macdonwald, and one from Norway.
On a bleak Scottish moorland, Macbeth and Banquo, discover the three witches from before. The witches prophesy that Macbeth will be promoted twice: to Thane of Cawdor (a rank of the aristocracy bestowed by grateful kings) and King of Scotland. Banquo's descendants will be kings, but Banquo isn't promised any kingdom himself. The generals want to hear more, but the "weird sisters" disappear.
Soon afterwards, King Duncan names Macbeth Thane of Cawdor as a reward for his success in the recent battles. The promotion seems to support the prophecy. The King then proposes to make a brief visit that night to Macbeth's castle at Inverness. Lady Macbeth receives news from her husband about the prophecy and his new title. She vows to help him become king by whatever means are necessary.
Macbeth returns to his castle, followed almost immediately by King Duncan. The Macbeths plot together to kill Duncan and wait until everyone is asleep. At the appointed time, Lady Macbeth gives the guards drugged wine so Macbeth can enter and kill the King. He regrets this almost immediately, but his wife reassures him. She leaves the bloody daggers by the dead king just before Macduff, a nobleman, arrives. When Macduff discovers the murder, Macbeth kills the drunken guards in a show of rage and retribution. Duncan's sons, Malcolm and Donalbain, flee, fearing for their own lives; but they are, nevertheless, blamed for the murder.
Macbeth becomes King of Scotland but is plagued by feelings of insecurity. He remembers the prophecy that Banquo's descendants will inherit the throne and arranges for Banquo and his son Fleance to be killed. In the darkness, Banquo is murdered, but his son escapes the assassins. At his state banquet that night, Macbeth sees the ghost of Banquo and worries the courtiers with his mad response. Lady Macbeth dismisses the court and unsuccessfully tries to calm her husband.
Macbeth seeks out the witches who say that he will be safe until a local forest, Birnam Wood, marches into battle against him. He also need not fear anyone born of woman. Macbeth embarks on a reign of terror, slaughtering many, including Macduff's family. Macduff had gone to seek Malcolm (one of Duncan's sons who fled) at the court of the English king. Malcolm is young and unsure of himself, but Macduff, pained with grief, persuades him to lead an army against Macbeth. The thane of Ross arrives to tell Macduff the news of the death of his family.
Macbeth feels safe in his remote castle at Dunsinane until he is told that Birnam Wood is moving towards him. Malcolm's army is carrying branches from the forest as camouflage for their assault on Macbeth's stronghold. Meanwhile, an overwrought and conscience-ridden Lady Macbeth walks in her sleep and tells her secrets to her doctor and waiting gentlewoman. As the final battle commences, Macbeth hears of Lady Macbeth's death (likely suicide) and mourns.
In the midst of a losing battle, Macduff challenges Macbeth. Macbeth learns Macduff is the child of a caesarean birth (ie, not born of woman), realizes he is doomed, and fights to the death. Macduff triumphs. Malcolm declares peace and goes to Scone to be crowned king.
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE was a renowned English poet, playwright, and actor born in 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon. His birthday is most commonly celebrated on April 23rd which is also believed to be the date he died in 1616. Shakespeare was a prolific writer during the Elizabethan and Jacobean ages of British theatre. Shakespeare's work includes 38 plays, 2 narrative poems, 154 sonnets, and a variety of other poems.
Shakespeare’s legacy is as rich and diverse as his work; his plays have spawned countless adaptations across multiple genres and cultures. His plays have had an enduring presence on stage and film. William Shakespeare continues to be one of the most important literary figures of the English language.
MACBETH cannot be precisely dated, but scholars tend to agree that it was not written earlier than 1603 as the play is widely seen to celebrate King James I and the Stuart accession to the throne following the death of Queen Elizabeth I. King James I (also King James VI of Scotland) had a grand fascination with magic and witchcraft (having written a book called Daemonologie) and was himself believed to be a descendant of Banquo.
SPIRITUALISM has roots in Scotland that can be traced back to the mid-19th century. The movement gained momentum through mediums who claimed to communicate with the spirit world. The Spiritualist movement also left its mark on literature and culture in Scotland, such as with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, known for creating Sherlock Holmes, who was famously drawn to Spiritualism. Outside of Scotland, the movement gained momentum with the infamous Fox Sisters, three sisters from New York who claimed to communicate with spirits through mysterious knocks. Spiritualism saw a resurgence in popularity after WW1 and again in 2020 during the Covid pandemic as people sought to connect with their departed loved ones.