SMTD presents modern twist on ‘Macbeth’


Courtesy of JLBoone Photography

The School of Music, Theatre and Dance will present a new take on the classic Shakespeare tragedy “Macbeth.”

Lauren Reid, Content Editor

Shakespeare’s classic tragedy “Macbeth” is coming to Oakland University with showtimes Feb. 6-9 and Feb. 13-16 at the Varner Studio Theatre. Audience members can expect music, intriguing supernatural elements and lots of exciting action. 

“‘Macbeth’ “blurs the line between the psychological and the supernatural — where the trappings of power lead to corruption, cover-up and choices of bloody consequence,” according to the School of Music, Theatre and Dance event page.

“There’s a ton of fights — they’re all amazing and completely different,” said senior Krissy Castellese, who plays Macduff in her final performance at OU. 

Senior Lauren Goyer is also heading into her last OU performance, taking on the iconic role of Lady Macbeth. For Goyer, getting to play Lady Macbeth “means the world to [her]” and is “a dream come true.”

The decision to perform “Macbeth” came from director David Gram’s “desire to [perform] a tragedy and a piece that showcased stage combat.” According to Gram, who is also a theatre and acting professor at OU, “‘Macbeth’ has a lot of elements that I thought were going to be great challenges for our students.”

Not only is the show full of action, but according to junior Dryden Zurawski, who plays the pivotal role of Macbeth, it’s timely.

“[It] feels like a fresh story that doesn’t need to be dusted off,” he said. “It is also set contemporarily, 3-5 years from now.”

Considering the history surrounding “Macbeth,” Zurawski said it is challenging to speak in the complex English Shakespeare utilizes. 

“We have a whole class devoted to [Shakespeare and language],” Zurawksi said. “There is a lot of things you have to think about and a lot of script work you have to do going into it.”

The actors mentioned that there is pressure dealing with a popular Shakespearean script such as “Macbeth,” but Gram has allowed them creative freedom where they can explore their respective characters. 

“Most people envision Macbeth as being a dark, brooding man, but I’m not very dark,” Zurawski said. “So, [Gram] and I discussed going about the character as initially being a good guy and then falling.” 

Some of the characters have switched genders as well, like Castellese’s character, who was originally written to be a male. 

“[Our show] is already changing what people think of the characters,” she said. “It gives us actors lots of room to play.”

The actors have been rehearsing and preparing since December and mentioned how being students and performers is a tough balance. 

“Our schedule is ridiculous,” said senior Kelsi Fay, who plays Queen Duncan and the fourth witch, “but it’s really nice to have understanding professors. Professors during the day understand that you have a long night ahead, and professors at night understand that you’ve had a long day.”

The cast expressed hopes that audience members would enjoy the new take on a story that is already familiar to many.

“We bring a new, fun, interesting take to a story people have to read in class,” Castallese said. 

General admission for “Macbeth” is $15 for the general public and $8 for students. For more information on the upcoming production, as well as show dates and times, visit