AN EVENING OUT: Entertained in Berlin, MD
Shakespeare in the Street
On Saturday night, Brad and I ventured out to check out the Brown Box Theatre production of Macbeth. Brown Box Theatre is a travelling theater company that brings productions to areas that don’t have a large theater presence, often places that lack a traditional venue for such performances, so the performances are set up with a simple set that can travel between locations. In the case of Berlin, the stage was set up at the intersection of Pitts and Main Streets. This is a BYOC or bring your own chair event, as are many of the Berlin events held on Main Street.
We arrived about half an hour before the show was to start and there was already quite a crowd gathering despite the muggy weather with a threat of thunderstorms. The set itself was simple, but quite effective. With a backdrop that resembled oversized pallets turned on their sides, a large caldron in the center of the rounded raised stage and large glass fishbowls at the stages edge that were put to interesting use. There was portable lighting, as well as lighting within the caldron, much of which looked to be led lighting. The use of the lights within the caldron gave it an amazing life, so that it became a character in and of itself.
I found the acting to be quite good. I am not a theater expert by any means. In fact my last exposure to Shakespeare in the theater was in my senior year of high school, when my English class had season tickets to the theater in Philadelphia. While those performances were quite good, I found the Brown Box Theatre performance much more engaging. I found Macbeth, played by Alex Marz, to be very convincing and I was mesmerized by Marge Dunn’s portrayal of Lady Macbeth. Marge brought an in your face, domineering wife and madwoman to life in a gripping performance. What really made the show for me were the witches, with their mix of fear factor and humor. Their verbal parts were strongly supported by their physical movements and facial expressions. The full body acting helped emphasize the meaning behind the words in a way that was both fun and easy for us mere mortals to understand.
The entire audience, which consisted of all age groups, from quite young to senior citizens seemed to be engaged and enjoying themselves. Even the weather cooperated. In fact, it more than cooperated. A light cooling breeze picked up through out the performance and eerie clouds passed before the almost full moon. Most appropriate for a play filled with murder and witchery! The thunderstorms themselves held out until the show was over and everyone had headed home.
All in all, I enjoyed the performance more than I had ever imagined that I would. I am thrilled that Berlin brought this opportunity to my doorstep and I look forward to future performances. I couldn’t recommend the experience anymore. Check out the Brown Box Theatre at brownboxtheatre.org. Thank you Kyler Taustin and the Brown Box Theater for providing me with a wonderful and free evening!
This photo from backstage prior to the performance, shows many of the actors playing cards and looking like they were enjoying themselves. It is a terribly blurry picture, that I wish were better, but I wanted to share the photo to capture their spirit……