Opening night of the Fullerton College production of Macbeth, was a complete success. The tone of the play was set up brillantly, with incredible costumes and stage design, backing up the post-apocalyptic feel that director Michael Mueller was going for.

Walking into the theatre, the audience is greeted by a small, intimate set up. The stage itself is a pit in the middle of the theatre, with a wooden structure that the actors will use to climb over during the play.

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Stage set up for Macbeth. The wooden structure has two uses, for the actors to climb on and for projections of things happening off stage to appear. Photo credit: Victoria Nicholls

While waiting for the play, a grunge rock playlist sets the mood. Songs by Marilyn Manson, Smashing Pumpkins, Chevelle, and Faith No More help the audience feel the Mad Max vibes that director Michael Mueller promised in his inside interview.

During the play, the actors go into the aisles that the audience sits in, making use of as much space as possible in the smaller theatre. While in the aisles, it is likely to make eye contact with Enrique Dueñas, who plays Macbeth himself, while he has one of his emotional soliloquies.

The seats right by the stage exits and entrances are especially at risk for intense eye contact as well as being scared by actors running onstage screaming.

The cast did an incredible job portraying the dark themes of the play, and acted professionally in the midst of technical difficulties with the sound during the beginning of the second act.

Dueñas, gives a convincing Macbeth, with every tremble of his hand as he laments his murders and the shaky laughter that escapes him, while denying the apparitions of his victims. The audience can believe that he is Macbeth, and they are watching his story unravel.

Samantha Green, who plays Lady Macbeth, says working with him through the semester on what their character’s backstories were is what helped her with her characterization.

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Macbeth (Enrique Duenas) and Lady Macbeth (Sam Green) Photo credit: Thea McLean

“I was journaling lists of likes and do-not-likes and possible back stories and all those details are so helpful when you’re up there trying to feel something. You don’t want to sit up there trying to think like ‘Be sad! Be sad! Be sad!’ You want to have things you actually want to think about,” Green explained.

Green gives an emotional approach to Lady Macbeth, with lots of vocal highs and lows. It felt like she was made for the strong female lead. However, Green said she actually did not have a lot in common with Lady Macbeth.

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Macbeth (Enrique Duenas) and Macduff (Justyn Franco Gonzalez) confrontation. Photo credit: Thea McLean

“I have very different mannerisms and even vocal qualities from Lady Macbeth, so I try to start doing rehearsals as soon as I get to rehearsals,” Green continued. “ It’s just a lot of character work.”

Green was also very happy with how opening night went.

“I think there was a really good energy, especially with the cast. Everyone was on their game, and it was a really strong opening night,” Green added. “I’m just excited for it to keep getting better!”

Macbeth is playing Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at the Dodson Theatre until May 18. Seating is assigned, so getting there early is advised.

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