A streamlined version of “Macbeth” opens at Jobsite Theater with a different take on William Shakespeare’s tragedy.
The Bard’s words remain intact and the story of ambition, greed and murder remains the same. But the focus is different and the cast has been narrowed to eight actors.
“I call it a ‘cutting’ in which I have trimmed about an hour from the original, focusing on two couples and how they react very differently to power,” says Jobsite’s artistic director, David Jenkins.
Jenkins says he cut a lot of “dated” historical background that Shakespeare had in the play, material Jenkins says is not essential to the plot or character development.
The two couples in focus are Macbeth and his wife, Lady Macbeth, and Macduff and Lady Macduff.
Giles Davies has the title role, and Dahlia Legault portrays Lady Macbeth. Dayton Sinkia is Macduff, and Nicole Jeannine Smith plays Lady Macduff.
Four actors (Katrina Stevenson, Chris Holcom, Maggie Mularz and Jonathan Cho) portray four mysterious “powers” who take on several roles, including the memorable witches who open the play.
“These four never leave the stage,” says Jenkins. “They stand at opposite corners always watching and changing roles, giving lines of other characters cut from the play. They also represent primordial, elemental forces and give the play a supernatural edge.”
Jenkins says he also increased the presence of Lady Macduff. “Shakespeare doesn’t have her coming in until later in the play and she’s just there to be a victim. I’ve given Lady Macduff a far greater presence. She is with Macduff from the beginning and I have given her lines from lesser characters that I cut from the original.”
He says this treatment works better for a small, intimate theater such as Jobsite.
“It allows us to hold these two families up next to one another in a new way,” says Jenkins.
The play runs about 90 minutes with no intermission.
He adds that Lady Macbeth often is portrayed as a one dimensional, diabolical and evil character, but in this adaption, she is motivated by her love for Macbeth.
Davies spent nine years with the Cincinnati Shakespeare Co. and was in The Gorilla Theatre production of “The Lion in Winter.”
He performed one of his solo shows, “Charles Dickens: The Uncommercial Traveler,” for the Theatre Ybor (HCC), “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” with freeFall Theatre and “Death and the Maiden” with A Simple Theatre.
Legault, who studied theater at the University of South Florida, has appeared in Tampa Bay area productions, as well as independent films.
When: 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Thursday and 4 p.m. Sunday through Nov. 24; (Saturday’s performance is sold out)
Where: Shimberg Playhouse, Straz Center, 1010 MacInnes Place, Tampa
Tickets: $28; (813) 229-7827 and www.strazcenter.org