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“What’s done is done”: “Macbeth” ends the semester’s Shakespeare sequence

Half of the Harvard-Radcliffe Dramatic Club productions held in the Loeb Experimental Theater this semester were written by Shakespeare. In such a Bard-packed season, each student director has faced the challenge of distinguishing his or her show and making it engaging to the student body and other audience members. Becca Feinberg ’14 directs the last of these productions, a modern take on the classic tragedy Macbeth.

Contextualizing Macbeth within the semester’s Shakespeare lineup, Feinberg says, “Every play has told a very distinct story and has engaged with different issues in a way that makes Shakespeare feel relevant to modern audiences.”

For her Macbeth, Feinberg trimmed down and modernized the story, setting it in New York City and focusing the plot on the mental deterioration of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. In this adaptation, the play becomes focused on the ways in which the ambitions of the characters destroy their lives.

“At Harvard, ambition is venerated, and we are all conditioned to achieve greatness,” says Feinberg. “While I don’t think that these lessons are bad or immoral, I do think it is imperative that, occasionally, we as a community question our values and our morality.”

This semester, Titus Andronicus, The Taming of the Shrew and now Macbeth have all been prisms through which to examine such questions about the way we live our lives today.

Macbeth runs Dec. 6-8 at the Ex.

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