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One of Shakespeare’s darkest ‘Macbeth’ directed by Tony nominee Larry Carpenter

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A Noise Within (ANW) presents one of Shakespeare’s darkest tragedies, “Macbeth” Directed by Tony Award nominee Larry Carpenter, this marks the first time in eleven years that the company has presented The Bard’s timeless dark tragedy, which portrays the violent ambition of Macbeth and his wife, whose ascension to the Scottish throne through bloody means, ultimately causes their own demise.

Carpenter talks about his vision: “I’ve directed a lot of Shakespeare, but this play is the one I keep returning to: fantastically well constructed, it contains some of the Bard’s absolute best poetry. ‘Macbeth’ is a present tense event where the characters dance with evil forces, and my staging includes the audience as participants. I am struck by the counterpoints of barrenness (which allows evil in) and fertility (that safeguards the future of the kingdom), and by Macbeth’s driving egoism. In many ways, his narcissism and grandiosity--coupled with an unwavering ambition for power and notoriety—mirror aspects of our current American condition and character.”

Considered one of Shakespeare’s darkest and most powerful tragedies, the play dramatizes the corrosive psychological and political effects that result when evil is chosen as a means of appropriating political and personal power. Written between 1603 and 1607, Macbeth tells the story of a brave Scottish general who hears witches prophesy that one day he will become King. Consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife, Macbeth murders King Duncan and seizes the throne. Wracked with guilt and paranoia, he soon becomes a tyrannical ruler as he commits ever more murders to protect himself and his reign. The bloodbath and consequent civil war that ensue swiftly sweep Macbeth and Lady Macbeth into a chasm of arrogance, madness, and death.

The cast features Elijah Alexander and Jules Willcox as Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. Alexander, best known for his role in the film “Mr. and Mrs. Smith,” brings extensive Shakespearean background that includes performances at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Utah Shakespeare Festival and California Shakespeare Festival. This is the second time he has portrayed Macbeth. Willcox was seen in last fall’s “Pericles” as Marina at A Noise Within and can be seen in the new CBS series “Friends with Better Lives.”

Other members of the cast: Thom Rivera, Jeremy Rabb and Amin El Gamal as celebrants, Leith Burke as Banquo, Matt Orduna as King Duncan, David DeSantos as MacDuff, Katie Pelensky as Lady Macduff/Donalbain, Feodor Chin as Malcolm, Theo Taplitz as Macduff Son, Mitchell McCollum as Lennox, Abubakr Ali as Ross, Lawrence Fernandez as Angus.

“Macbeth” opens 8 p.m. Saturday, March 15 and performs in repertoire through May . Single ticket prices start at $34. Call 626-356-3100 or visit www.ANoiseWithin.org.

Macbeth” is generously supported by James and Travessa Terrile.

Media Sponsors for A Noise Within's 2013/14 Season are Pasadena Star-News and KPCC 89.3 FM.

A Noise Within is located on the corner of Foothill Boulevard and Sierra Madre Villa Avenue at 3352 East Foothill Blvd. in Pasadena.

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