First Posted: 5/27/2014
Husband and wife thespians, Jonathan and Rachel Strayer, are bringing Shakespeare to the South Abington Park.
The Strayer’s and their cast of 19 are performing one of Shakespeare’s most famous works, “Macbeth.” Set to open Friday, May 30 at 6:30 p.m. and run every weekend until June 8, the members of Ghostlight Productions are optimistic their 6th annual production will attract a large audience.
“We’re expecting a very good turnout, we’ve had a lot of community support, here’s a free [play] you can bring the whole family to,” Jonathan Strayer said.
Performing “Macbeth” has been a career-long dream for Jonathan.
“A couple years ago we sat down and decided,” the director said. “Macbeth has been my favorite for a long, long time.”
“He has always loved it and thought it was fascinating,” said Rachel.
The decision for such a heavy piece this year, falls in line with the alternating schedule of performing a comedy and tragedy. Next year, the group will be performing something lighter.
Rehearsals began the first week of April and continued daily for 3-4 hours for the first couple weeks. The cast members range in age from 12 to 52, but that has not impacted on-stage chemistry, Jonathan said. .
“It’s going very, very well, it’s an intense rehearsal, and it’s been keeping me and the actors very, very busy,” Rachel said. “We’re having a blast; we’re really bonding as a cast.”
Once show time grows closer, rehearsals are 4-5 times per week.
The lead role of Macbeth will be played by Jeremy Kemmerer.
“The biggest challenge is trying to understand the person whose choice and ambitions drive him to give up his morality,” he said. “That journey as a person is just so far from who I am.”
Rachel will tackle the complex role of Lady Macbeth.
“The biggest challenge is playing her as a human being and not just evil source,” she said. “It was great to discover some of her motivations, back then the purpose of being a woman was helping her husband with [an heir], I believe she feels inadequate as a woman.”
The event is free to the public . Attendees are asked to bring blankets and chairs.
“Honestly, I think it will be great,” Rachel said. “It has a lot of elements, it’s such a well-known play, and we’re going to surprise them in a couple ways.”