This Thursday, the entire fourth form (along with thirty theater students) were treated to something truly special: rather than attend afternoon classes, we all filed into the newly renovated Allen Theatre, wherein the traveling troupe from Lenox’s prestigious Shakespeare & Company performed Macbeth, a text that all sophomores had just completed reading. With compelling period costumes, atmospheric lighting, an evocative set, and truly admirable performances from all of the professional actors, the production quickly transported the entire audience into one of Shakespeare’s darkest, most harrowing worlds. We all watched rapt as ambition, deceit, and phantasmagoric prophecies propelled the rapid rise and bloody downfall of a once noble man. After the 90 minute play was completed, actors visited with students in an educational forum to field questions, offer insights about their characters as well as the play’s themes, and discuss the complexities of taking the show on the road.
To see a slideshow of images from the performance, click here.
The Berkshire English department has a perennial commitment to teaching Shakespeare in the classroom as a literary text; however, the department equally believes that plays are meant to be performed, and that seeing Shakespeare’s language in performance enhances understanding and enjoyment. As such, we are glad for our partnership with the Berkshire School Theater department and with Shakespeare & Company—one more instance of the school’s taking advantage of the significant cultural resources in our area.
-- Evan Clary, English Department Chair