The City Shakespeare Company is on a mission to re-define what you think of one of Shakespeare’s most famous (and currently most popular) works, “Macbeth.” Opening night was held Thursday near downtown Santa Monica, in a storage space behind an empty art gallery.
Allison Volk and Brooke Bishop, co-founders of the company, were very intentional as they searched for this space.
“All our shows are site-specific, meaning we choose the space according to what the text calls for,” said Volk, who plays Lady Macbeth. “We wanted something raw to match the gut-wrenching subject matter.”
Unlike many productions with large casts, City Shakes is an ensemble of seven actors who play two, three or four characters.
Jose Espinosa plays Banquo and the Porter.
“This company is unique because we try out every idea, entertain many things, and we’re not afraid of transforming Shakespeare into something different and new and modern,” Espinosa said.
Indeed, the mission of City Shakes is to bring Shakespeare to the 21st century in a way that is accessible and “this production puts these iconic characters into a recognizable, modern context,” according to Spencer Paez, who plays Malcolm and Fleance.
Colin Martin, the actor playing Macbeth, said they were holding a mirror up to the darker parts of human nature and inviting them to ask themselves some deep questions about hidden motivations.
“What would it take for you to kill? Do you have it in you? That’s what our production asks,” Martin said.
“Macbeth” plays Thursdays and Fridays at 8 pm through Nov. 22, and Saturdays Nov. 9 and 16, at 1454 Lincoln Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA 90401. Plenty of free street parking after 6 pm. Doors open at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $20 at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/472852. For more information, visit www.CityShakes.org.