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'Double, double toil and trouble'
Patterson theatre puts punk into 'Macbeth'
Murri Royal Brown, Cristal Franco and Brooke Borba play witches in Patterson Repertory Theatre's production of "Macbeth." - photo by Photo Contributed

Three witches, a prophesy and murder. Sounds like any modern horror tale, but this "Scottish play" has been fascinating audiences for at least 400 years.

William Shakespeare's "Macbeth" is being brought to life again at the Patterson Repertory Theatre — but this time with a distinctly 1980s feel.

Director Joshua Morriston believes the central themes in "Macbeth" are as relevant and thought-provoking today as they were in Shakespeare's time.

"Initially, I chose 'Macbeth' because of its theme: Power.  As we progressed in rehearsals I began to explore fate, destiny — whatever you want to call it, by way of the witches, Hecate and Lady Macbeth.  Each of these characters affects Macbeth in some way which determines his path.  While this is apparent in the script I have exaggerated this concept through physical action," Morriston said.

In Morriston's vision, Macbeth's rise to king of Scotland — as foretold by the Three Witches — through the murder of King Duncan and subsequent murders of army captain Banquo and sons, remains the same; as does the ruthlessly ambitious Lady Macbeth.

But what audiences may not have seen in previous performances of "Macbeth" are spiked hair and black lipstick. Beyond the outward punk and gothic appearances of the actors, Morriston thought the mores of the 80s were a perfect fit for "Macbeth."

"...the 80s was the ME generation wherein most people were mainly concerned with themselves, getting ahead and acquiring things.  Macbeth exemplifies this through his insatiable thirst for power and absolute control," Morriston said.

This community theatre production stars Josh Cruz as Macbeth; Tori Scoles as Lady Macbeth; Brooke Borba, Cristal Franco and Murri Royal Brown as the Three Witches; Kathryn Loughman as Hecate, the goddess of witchcraft; Michael Hewitt as Duncan, king of Scotland; and Christian Barba as Fleance.

"Macbeth" is Morriston's fifth time directing for the Patterson Repertory Theatre. His past plays include "Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf," "Wait Until Dark," "Barefoot in the Park," and "Cross the Line." He is tentatively working on an "off-kilter Christmas show" for this December.

"Macbeth" runs Thursday, Friday and Saturday, beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the Patterson High auditorium, 200 N. 7th St., Patterson.  Tickets are $10 general admission and $8 for students and seniors.

"We are all extremely passionate about theatre and hope local communities will see our show to support our efforts.  Our version of 'Macbeth' is meant to engage, creep out and ultimately entertain audiences," Morriston said.