The Gurnet Theater Project is back this summer offering free productions of William Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” in the Miles Standish Monument Reservation in Duxbury. The productions will take place at the monument at 5 p.m. August 7-9 and August 14-16.
The Gurnet Theater Project is back this summer offering free productions of William Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” in the Miles Standish Monument Reservation in Duxbury.
The productions will take place at the monument at 5 p.m. August 7-9 and August 14-16.
Brian Fahey and Michelle Hatfield started the Gurnet Theater Project in 2005 with the aim of bringing free theater to Duxbury. Their first summer production of “The Illusion” was so well received that the group has been producing free outdoor theater ever since, with “Macbeth” being their fifth presentation.
The group is funded through grants from the Duxbury Cultural Council as well as “loyal benefactors” and through donations at every show.
“Macbeth” is the dark story of a man trying to fulfill the prophecy of witches that only leads to lust for power, greed and bloodshed.
“’Macbeth’ is an interesting choice for us,” Fahey said, “It is one of Shakespeare’s more infamous plays.”
The tragedy is directed by Michael Duncan Smith, who has acted in previous Gurnet productions including “As You Like It” and “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged).” The cast includes 14 actors from the South Shore and Boston areas, many Gurnet veterans and many newcomers to the group. Playing Macbeth is Victor Shopov, a Gurnet veteran who has appeared in “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged).”
For Shopov, theater was not his focus in college, after he graduated with a degree in broadcast journalism from Emerson College where he participated in theater as a hobby.
“I recently picked it up again,” Shopov said. “’Macbeth was something I was really, really interested in,” he said, “it’s a lot of fun working with Gurnet.”
“Doing outdoor theater is a challenge,” Fahey said, because the show is often competing with the weather. This year the production will span over two weekends making the fight with the weather easier. “If by chance it does rain one day we will be back there the next day,” Fahey said.
Outdoor productions can also be challenging for the actors, who try and maintain their performance through distractions. “You have got to make sure you maintain the intimacy in certain moments,” Shopov said, “It’s really a balancing act.”
Because Gurnet performs outdoors, they use only the natural set and natural light. The natural set “is freeing in a way,” Fahey said, it lets the audience “focus on the story, focus on the actors.”
Like past productions, the Gurnet Theater Project expects to have good turn out for each performance.
“We hope we have really great audiences,” Fahey said, “It is a really exciting story.”
Fahey encourages families to come out with beach chairs, blankets and picnic dinners, and experience free theater in an outdoor setting.
"We hope people will come out and “enjoy a nice evening of free theater,” Fahey said, “it’s a great story for a summer night.”