Saturday night I saw New Paltz's production of Macbeth. It was my first time seeing a production of one of Shakespeare's plays and I enjoyed it. I must admit that reading and studying the plays shortly before seeing it performed definitely helped to make it easier to follow and gave me more of an appreciation for it. I was thoroughly impressed with the acting as the characters were presented just as I had imagined them to be and they really brought the play to life.
I also thought that they did a good job of making it more contemporary while leaving most of the script unchanged. The use of sound effects was captivating and interesting, and it made it more exciting in a sense. It was a good addition to the play. I couldn't help but consider the fact that such sound effects would never be possible during Shakespeare's time, but they definitely added to the performance. I was also really impressed with Lady Macbeth's costumes. They were all quite beautiful and apparently quite a bit of work went into them. For example, I heard that the beads on her gold dress were all hand sewed onto it--pretty impressive.
Their use of the stage and set was also interesting. They really used the stage/set to its full potential and they hardly changed it over the course of the play! With the use of lighting, props, and staging of the actors, they made good use of the fairly unchanging set--just as they would have done in Shakespeare's time.