Diverse student cast takes on dark Shakespeare play

February 28, 2014 Feature Print Print

A 21st Century take on William Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” will be performed on campus at 7:30 p.m. March 6 through 8 in the Bruce Owen Theater.

“We’re trying to do a very modern Macbeth,” Director Rachel Irick said. “Shakespeare is the kind of material that you can sort of create your own time and place for in a lot of ways, and that’s sort of what we’re doing.”

“Macbeth” is the story of a man enthralled with ambition who embarks on a murderous journey to become king of Scotland.

Actor Tyler Waits, University of Central Oklahoma graduate, is starring as Macbeth.

He compared the character to the protagonist in the popular AMC show “Breaking Bad.”

“(Macbeth starts off) mild mannered, doing his part in the world, and then suddenly he sees this thing, you know, that sparks this … dark desire,” Waits said.

“Ambition kind of overtakes him and turns him into something he never imagined he would be.“

OCCC theater major Alexis Ward, 19, is starring as Lady Macbeth. A returning actor to the OCCC stage, she said she felt excited when she learned she got the role.

“It’s something that I’ve been told is a very big deal for any girl who is in the drama department to get,” Ward said. “It’s a big, big role. I’ve always played someone nice.

“I’ve never played some-one that has as much ambition, who’s willing to do anything possible to get what she wants.”

Theater Professor Brent Noel praised Ward’s talent.

“Alexis is one of our up-and-coming students,” he said. “She’s really good at being able to play character.”

Irick said she enjoys working with the students at OCCC.

“When I’m here, I have the most diverse casts,” she said.

She said she casts men and women, and gets to provide sex-blind and color-blind casting.

Matt Canann, playing the character Malcolm, said this is his third or fourth time working with Irick. “She is always really great about having a clear vision … .”

Irick said Shakespeare is universal.

“That’s another reason why I’m trying to modernize it,” she said.

Tickets are $10 for general admission and $5 for students. The Thursday night performance is free for students and staff of OCCC. For more information, contact the Arts Division at 405-682-1611, ext. 6278.

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