NGU theatre goes dark: Enter Macbeth

SHAY CARLSON, STAFF WRITER

Photo Courtesy of Shay Carlson

Photo Courtesy of Shay Carlson

“It's dark. It’s a dark story with some elements that people might find disturbing”, says the chair of North Greenville’s Theater department and director of NGU’s upcoming production of Macbeth, Amy Dunlap.

Armed with an unwavering dedication to their craft and a clear identity in faith, the cast of NGU’s production of Macbeth embrace one of Shakespeare’s darkest plays with a concoction comprised of creativity and poignancy.

A story of human depravity and corruption, Macbeth isn’t without a redeemable undercurrent that audiences have been drawn to for centuries. “I think that’s the appeal of Shakespeare; he tells stories of people just being people and that doesn’t change, says Dunlap, who used James 1:14-15 as a foundation for this production:

But each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”

“It’s a story of our fallen human nature and the consequences of our sin, that’s a timeless story; it hasn’t changed since the book of James and it hasn’t changed since Shakespeare, this is something that people are constantly struggling with today,” said Dunlap.

Though retold thousands of times in the secular realm, for those seeing the story through the veil of Christianity, Macbeth has an undeniable biblical message. The story of a man who begins as a good and upright individual quickly falling to the greed and corruption that befalls many who chase power and deny God’s will; Macbeth is led down a dark path that eventually costs him his soul.

“I think it’s important to not pretend that evil doesn’t exist; to acknowledge it, to wrestle with it. To view ourselves as redeemed creatures we need to know what we’ve been redeemed from,” says Dunlap, emphasizing how so often Christians focus on the freedom from sin without considering the cost paid for that redemption.

Though some people may be put off by the sinister elements of Macbeth, it is important to realize that Shakspeare’s darkest play isn’t without purpose and appeal. “He writes about humans; he writes about human beings. There are universal qualities to humans that we recognize even 400 years later; Macbeth is a story about a man who listens to his own desires rather than what’s right,” says Dunlap.

Abbreviated to an hour and a half, NGU’s Macbeth seeks to refine the essential elements of the story in an engaging way, giving even Shakespeare novices an accessible version of this weighty story. “I would challenge people: if you think you don’t like Shakespeare or you’ve never really seen Shakespeare live to come and see this. I guarantee you’ll understand the story and know what’s happening. You won’t be bored,” says Dunlap.

Not unlike the parables of Jesus, stories are a powerful medium. NGU’s theater department aims to show how a story of darkness can hold within it great truth.

“As a Christian director, I see God in story everywhere. It’s not necessarily that I am trying to twist and to turn theater into a sermon or trying to preach through what we’re doing, but for me, the reality of the world is that God is in everything… that’s part of why I do what I do, to show God in storytelling,” Dunlap explains.

Macbeth will run from April 20-22 & 24-26, 2017 in Billingsley Theater

For more information and to purchase tickets visit the NGU box office or call 864-977-7085