Tusculum hosting “Macbeth” for seven performances at Annie Hogan Byrd on Greeneville campus

GREENEVILLE – Theatre-at-Tusculum will present “The Tragedy of Macbeth” by William Shakespeare for seven performances beginning Friday, Nov. 6.

Left to right, Rachel Phillips, Frank Mengel and Todd Wallin rehearse a scene from “The Tragedy of Macbeth.”

One of the Bard’s most famous plays will take the stage at the Annie Hogan Byrd Fine Arts Center Theatre on Tusculum University’s Greeneville campus. Brian Ricker will direct the one-act edition, which features many local actors.

Show dates are Nov. 6, 7, 12, 13 and 14 at 7 p.m. and Nov. 8 and 15 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 for general admission, $12 for anyone 60 and older and $5 for children 12 and younger. Parental guidance is suggested due to some mature content.

“We are excited to present this one-act version to the community and continue our tradition of high-quality performances at Tusculum,” Ricker said. “We want audiences to experience the quality of a Shakespeare play, and our performances provide that in an enjoyable manner.”

Macbeth, played by Greeneville favorite Chris Greene, is a Scottish nobleman during the 11th century. He and his right-hand man, Banquo, played by Greeneville High School senior Todd Wallin, meet three witches, who predict Macbeth will be proclaimed King of Scotland. Tusculum student Hanna Johnson and local actresses Margo Olmsted and Kendra Tarlton play the witches.

Spurred by the witches’ prophecy and encouraged by his wife, Lady Macbeth, played by film actress Elizabeth Sparks, Macbeth murders Duncan, the sitting King of Scotland. Longtime theater supporter Dell Hughes plays Duncan.

After the murder, Macbeth ascends to the throne, and as he is slowly driven mad by guilt, he leads the country into turmoil as a murderous, tyrannical ruler. Macbeth’s fellow Scottish nobles, led by Macduff, played by Christy Hoeke, and Duncan’s son Malcolm, played by Jackson Beddingfield, orchestrate a revolt.

The production is one of Shakespeare’s greatest dramatic works and includes witches casting spells, murder and period-appropriate battle scenes, choreographed by Tusculum Technical Director Frank Mengel and Tusculum sophomore Eirik Dahlgren.

“It’s an action-packed production,” Ricker said. “It features lots of fighting and intrigue. With this one-act edited version, audiences can focus on the story and the fast-paced rise and fall of Macbeth.”

Other roles include fellow Scottish nobles Ross, played by Michael Fillers; Lennox, played by Emily Barwick; and Angus, played by Gracie Akins. The cast includes longtime Theatre-at-Tusculum performers Dinnia Foulks, Zach Gass, Griffin Gricunas, Simon Johnson and Rachel Phillips, as well as newcomers Alexis Morefield and Samantha Thomas.

Mengel leads set design, and Beth Wilson-Schnura oversees lighting design. Stage managers are Elijah Collins-White and Jim Holt, with costume design by Erin Schultz, Tusculum’s costume director.

Those who are interested in seeing a performance may email Jennifer Hollowell, Box Office manager, at jhollowell@tusculum.edu or call Tusculum Arts Outreach at 423-798-1620 to reserve tickets. Seating will be limited for the production due to the global coronavirus pandemic, and audience members must wear a face covering and observe physical distancing. Touch-free temperature checks will take place upon entry prior to each performance for the safety of all guests.

Theatre-at-Tusculum is under the auspices of Arts Outreach, which is supervised by Wayne Thomas, dean of the College of Civic and Liberal Arts, and is led by Brian Ricker, Arts Outreach assistant director; Coordinator Jennifer Hollowell; Technical Director Frank Mengel; and Costume Director Erin Schultz. It is supported in part by a grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission, Hearts for the Arts, a Walmart Inc. local community support grant as well as many generous donors and volunteers.

For more information about Theatre-at-Tusculum or other Arts Outreach programs please call 423-798-1620, visit http://arts.tusculum.edu or find on Facebook at Tusculum University Arts Outreach.