The San Francisco Shakespeare Festival will mount a full production of William Shakespeare's Macbeth for its 31st season of free Shakespeare in the park (several Bay-area parks, in fact), and then will tour a special one-hour production of Julius Caesar to area schools through the 2013—2014 school year.
Kenneth Kelleher returns to direct an ensemble that includes Michael Ray Wisely as Macbeth, Emily Jordan as Lady Macbeth, Ryan Tasker as Macduff, Stephen Muterspaugh as Banquo, Daniel Petzold as Malcolm, Maryssa Wanlass as Lady Macduff, and Sean Mirkovich as Donalbain.
Festival fans may remember Wisely as Pistol being pummeled by a leek-wielding Tasker as Fluellen in last season's Henry V. Wisely also performed in the 2006 production of The Tempest and 2003's Love's Labour's Lost, which was also Kelleher's debut with SF Shakes. Jordan played the role of Innogen in 2011's Cymbeline, Silvia in 2010's Two Gentlemen of Verona, Thaisa (and others) in 2008's Pericles, and Hippolyta/Titania in 2007's A Midsummer Night's Dream. She is also a resident teaching artist with SF Shakes. Mirkovich, Petzold, and Wanlass have all had stints with Shakespeare on Tour; Mirkovich with the 2012–2013 production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, Petzold with the 2010–2011 production of The Tempest, and Wanlass, who also is a resident teaching artist with the Festival, with the 2011–2012 production of Macbeth.
Rainier Pearl-Styles and Sarah Young (both playing witches) have regularly performed with the Festival's Upstart Crows teen acting company. Performances they've both been in include Richard III (Pearl-Styles in the title role and Young as Lady Anne), The Comedy of Errors (Pearl-Styles as Dromio of Ephesus and Young as Adrianna), and Julius Caesar (Pearl-Styles as Portia; Octavius and Young as Cassius). Additionally, Pearl-Styles played Don Pedro and Watchman in the recent Upstart Crows production of Much Ado About Nothing. They've also performed in the Festival's Advanced Shakespeare Workshop productions.
Muterspaugh is an education program manager with the Festival and will direct the touring production of Julius Caesar. He also directed the 2012–2013 touring production of A Midsummer Night's Dream and is currently heading up the Shakespeare for All program, directing community-based productions of The Bard in the Central Valley.
Though cut to 55 minutes, the touring Julius Caesar will be performed in Shakespeare's original text. The touring production travels with a cast of professional actors in costume, with set, props, and music. At the conclusion of the show, they will stay and take questions from the audience. Staging requirements are flexible and the show may perform indoors or out; in a gym, cafeteria, multipurpose room, classroom, or any space that will accommodate the set and audience.
The package also includes three weeks of one-hour lesson plans written especially for teachers and indexed to state standards. These guides serve as a resource for helping students understand the plot, themes, character motives, and language found in Shakespeare's writing. Also available is Playshop, a one hour, hands-on experience that will deepen students' appreciation of Shakespeare on Tour's Julius Caesar. For a PDF form to book the show, click here.
Here is the schedule and venue of Macbeth performances:
May 20, 2013