Macbeth’s director Michael Addison has tapped into the creative community of Ojai, bringing actors, artists, musicians, and more to expose the pure core of this classic play—power—in a multi-sensory production. The audience will have their senses pricked by not only the dialog and drama, but audibly and visually. The play opens Friday, March 16, 2018 at the Art Center Theater.
A key visual element will be a nonlinear set design. “I did not want it to be immediately representational because I felt that would be limiting,” said Addison. “It’s clearly a castle, but also out on the heath, in the field, hither and yond. Therefore, we moved in an abstract direction. I brought together two designers: Kenny Dahle who’s designed a number of extraordinary sets for the Art Center, most recently his set for Animal Crackers which was rich and perfectly detailed; and fiber artist Carol Shaw-Sutton.
“I had seen Carol’s work early on when she first came to Ojai. I was struck by how she manipulates fabric to create haunting images, some which are purely abstract. Some of Carol’s pieces looked like flayed creatures dried out in the sun. The idea I developed with her and Kenny was to mount these fabrics to suggest walls so that we could have ghosts floating in the air or could be portraits hanging on the wall inside a castle, depending on scene and lighting.
“Another element I wanted was a certain decrepitude. Carol and a number of fabric artists worked as a team, drawing on the rich body of talent we have in Ojai. They’ve created pieces to be like trophies or trees in the forest, whatever Claire Cleary the lighting designer makes them appear to be. Team members are from the Ojai Fiber Collective: Kyle Crowner, Pat Edwards, Mary Mohr, and Wendy Osher.
“In the costume department, happily, I’ve worked with our costume designer Mary Crane who has a rich background and strong visual eye. For this production, Mary has strongly reinforced the nature of the various characters through fabric and color choices.”
To raise the audiences sensory experience, Addison added a musical score of percussion created by professional percussionist John Lacques. A wide variety of sounds will make up the aural background for the action and bring another dimension to the total effect of the play. Jaye Hersh is the production’s vocal consultant.
What does Addison hope for from all of this preparation? “I’m hoping we will have a production that will scare the bejesus out of people!”
Opening night will be marked with a sparkling celebration after the show. Meet the director and the cast and hoist a glass of bubbly to this innovative interpretation of the Scottish play. Macbeth is a joint production of OPAT and OACT. It opens March 16 for four weekends, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30, Sundays at 2:00, ojaiact.org or call 640-8797.
About the Ojai Art Center Theater
The Ojai Art Center is the longest continuously-operating multi-disciplinary center serving the arts in the State of California. Opened in 1939, the Center has eight branches for the various art disciplines. The Theater Branch presents a variety of dramatic productions, ranging from comedy to drama and musicals, annually. The branch has its own directors and monthly meetings to address all theater-related issues. The Artistic Director annually screens proposals for future productions and presents a tentative schedule for approval to the Center’s Board of Directors.
Ojai Art Center is a California 501(c)(3) nonprofit.
The Ojai Art Center Theater is located inside the Art Center at: 113 South Montgomery Street.