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Macbeth opens at Cumberland Theatre

A gritty reimagining of Shakespeare’s classic will run two weekends

The Cumberland Theatre will continue their 34th season of entertainment with William Shakespeare’s timeless Tragedy of Macbeth. The show will preview on Thursday, March 17th, have its official opening on Friday, March 18th and run through March 27th with evening performances at 8:00 pm and Sunday matinees at 2:00 pm.

Macbeth is thought to have been first performed in 1606 and is one of the Bard’s best known and most performed plays, although it is his shortest tragedy. It has been translated into several different languages and spawned several film versions – the latest in 2021 starring Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand.

The Cumberland Theatre’s edgy reimagining sets Shakespeare’s classic against the gritty backdrop of the drug trafficking world of the late 1990's with an urban gothic aesthetic reminiscent of films like The Crow and Sin City.

Macbeth receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become the ruler of his domain. Consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife, Macbeth murders Duncan and takes his place at the helm. He is then wracked with guilt and paranoia. Forced to commit more and more murders to protect himself from enmity and suspicion, he soon becomes a tyrannical ruler. The bloodbath and consequent civil war swiftly take Macbeth and Lady Macbeth into the realms of madness and death.

This timeless tragedy brings to life the damaging physical and psychological effects of political ambition on those who seek power for its own sake.

The show is being directed by Sam Little, who directed last season’s award-winning production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The cast features both veteran CT actors and several new faces to CT stage.

Playing the titular role will be Seth Thompson who was seen in last season's Moonlight & Magnolias, Clue and A Christmas Carol. Kimberli Rowley, the theatre’s Co-Artistic Director, will play Lady Macbeth. Returning to the area in the role of Macduff will be Sean Besecker (last seen in A Christmas Carol). Oliver Nau (also last seen in A Christmas Carol) returns to play Macduff’s son. Others returning to the CT stage are Reed Lancaster as Ross and local actor Jace Courrier as Fleance. Both played principal roles in The Outsiders last fall.

The witches will be played by Alexandra Shephard (last seen in Ring of Fire), Ebony Gennes (last seen in The Outsiders and The Great Gatsby) and, making his CT debut, Mark Worth.

Others making their first appearance at CT are John DeFilippo (Malcolm), Joe Staton (Banquo), Charlie Meeks (Duncan/Siward), Katelyn Shreiner (Lady Macduff/Seyton), Juan Danner (Doctor/Murderer), Michael Reid (Sergeant/Murderer), and Jacob Waeyaert (Angus).

Left to Right, Row One: Seth Thompson, Kimberli Rowley, Sean Besecker, Oliver Nau, Row Two: Reed Lancaster, Jace Courrier, Alexandra Shephard, Ebony Gennes, Row Three: Mark Worth, John DeFilippo, Joe Staton, Charlie Meeks, Row Four: Katelyn Shreiner, Juan Danner, Michael Reid, Jacob Waeyaert

The design team for the show consists of Co-Artistic Director Rhett Wolford (set design), Jennifer Clark (costume design), Trevor McCabe (prop design) and Xander Mulder (lighting design). Run crew is comprised of Marty Jellison (stage manager), Hayden Kline (assistant stage manager), Bella McConnell (assistant stage manager), and Elizabeth Mudge (wardrobe assistant).

The show is being produced with sponsorship by Mary Splain Shrout and additional funding from Wendy Snow Walker. An opening night wine and cheese reception with the cast and crew will follow the March 18th performance at no additional charge. Tickets are available at or by calling 301.759.4990.

The theatre is offering two morning performances for local schools on Thursday, March 24th and Friday, March 25th. To inquire about availability, please email

Please note that the show contains violence, drug use and sexual situations and may not be appropriate for all viewers. Parental discretion is encouraged.

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