The Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University opens its highly-anticipated production of Macbeth, by William Shakespeare, this Wednesday, November 16. The play follows Macbeth and Lady as superstitious powers lead them to kill for the Scottish Throne. Macbeth becomes a tyrant and Scotland crumbles as his ambition goes unchecked.
As a member of the cast, I have watched last week’s presidential election and rehearsals unfold in tandem. Now, Shakespeare’s text holds new associations than it did just days ago. Words of peace, tyranny, and unification all resemble recent news articles, victory speeches, and social media posts. The play explores a divided Scotland and the dangers that face the nation when citizens normalize each evil deed: a note of caution and a call to action in today’s political climate.
Theatre can create empathy and common ground in a time of divide. Through story and metaphor Macbeth reminds its audience to stand against injustice when they see it. Seeing Webster’s production is not only an exciting chance to experience highly professional theatre and support student artists, but it is a step towards finding peace and community in a St. Louis full of uncertainty.