Part of the DePaul Theatre School’s New Directors Series, this production of “Macbeth” demonstrates some canny and occasionally inspired choices by director Olivia Barrera Gutierrez. “Macbeth” is Shakespeare’s most goth play (just like “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is the most emo), and Gutierrez ups the creepiness ante by keeping her (male) weird sisters on stage almost throughout, arranging the set or hiding under the table at Macbeth’s ill-starred banquet. The set itself takes its inspiration from the minimal staging of Elizabethan theatre: consisting primarily of large, brooding panels, the stage design allows for Shakespeare’s quick jump cuts without breaking the action. Gutierrez’s leads serve her well, though the supporting cast is rather more uneven. J. Levi Holloway’s Macbeth slips easily from brooding meditation on invisible daggers to a restless violence; while his occasional shouting leads to lost lines, he tackles Macbeth’s warhorse soliloquies with a winning bravado. He and Teissia Treynet as Lady Macbeth recover the erotic connection that drives these two to treason and murder; we can feel that, for Macbeth, his own doom is a footnote to the suicide of his wife. The production closes with a clever and pulpy grace note, setting the stage for “Macbeth II: Return to Birnam Wood.” (John Beer)
This production is now closed.