April Fools: Production of Macbeth Proves that the Show Must Go On

Editors' Note: This satire article is a part of The Gettysburgian's annual April Fools' special edition and is not a real news story.
Brua Hall, which contains Kline Theatre (Photo courtesy of Gettysburg College)

Brua Hall, which contains Kline Theatre (Photo courtesy of Gettysburg College)

By Gauri Mangala & Britney Brunache

The Spring production of Macbeth has persevered through the coronavirus and has adapted its show to the changing circumstances. The show, which opened last week had a 20 person max seating, as audience members were required to sit with a 6 empty seat radius around them at all times. Virtual programs could be scanned with a QR code to avoid usher-audience physical interaction.

The battle scenes of the show, specifically the large battle at Birnamwood, stayed true to the sword play of Shakespearean times, with the added health and safety measures of 8-foot plastic lightsabers so that actors could keep a safe distance from each other. 

“Learning how to perform while continuing social distancing measures is really important for young actors today,” said Chris Kauffman, Professor of Theatre Arts. “How do you go about portraying intimate moments while on opposite sides of the stage?”

Technical director Eric Berninghausen spoke with The Gettysburgian about the set up and tear down of the show. 

“A lot of cleaning goes into the show every night. We have elected to use a bleach-based blood both to keep things as sterile as possible. Actors are also asked to shower one by one in the dressing room bathrooms before and after every show.”

The witches, instead of a traditional Shakespearean brew, gathered over a cauldron of homemade hand sanitizer consisting of Kool-Aid and Everclear. Unfortunately, during the Sunday Matinee, Banquo’s death came a little earlier than anticipated when he yakked onstage after drinking straight from the witches’ bucket during intermission.

Many of the lords shook elbows instead of hands, and Macbeth and Lady Macbeth wore surgical masks and kissed with a plastic barrier up. However, the performance itself felt relatively unchanged by the COVID-19 friendly blocking. If anything, the foreign language and plot points felt closer to home with the added notes of what is happening in the world today.

At the end of the show, the audience gave the cast a standing ovation and they took their final bows, holding pool cues in between them.

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Author: Gauri Mangala

Gauri Mangala '21 currently serves as the managing editor for the Gettysburgian. Gauri is originally from Langhorne, Pennsylvania. Aside from her work with the Gettysburgian, Gauri is the treasurer for the Owl and Nightingale Players. She is a double major in Theatre Arts and Anthropology.

Author: Britney Brunache

Britney Brunache ‘22 serves as the arts & entertainment editor for The Gettysburgian. This is her first year. Prior to The Gettysburgian, Britney spent most of her time in Kline Theatre working on various shows including Untitled, 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Blithe Spirit, and Everybody. This year Britney plans on using her position as an editor to share unique stories and opinions. She is also directing a show she created.

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