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Shakespeare 'Zombie Apocalypse' unfolds at Cleveland High

by: DAVID F. ASHTON - Evan Billups (playing the Spirit) and Witches Anahelena Goodman-Flood, Anne Thornton, and Emma Hadley speak with Macbeth (Mykael Le) in the new Cleveland High production. Upon the retirement of long time Cleveland High School (CHS) theater instructor Jane Ferguson, da Vinci Arts Middle School teacher Tom Beckett was named to the post this year.

Beckett said the first show he’s directing at CHS is Shakespeare’s Macbeth. “It’s a great play. And, we’re presenting a version based on the videogame ‘Fallout’, set in a post-apocalyptic and retro-futuristic world.”

The stage set being built by Theater Tech students is of a disused Washington D.C. underground subway station.

“William Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’ is a great play, with witches, sword fights, and lots of action. It’s really appealing on many levels,” Beckett said. “It is very tribal, which many youth today can relate to.

“This play is about a situation where tribes of people unite under a single king – or President, in our play,” Beckett said. “Then, one of them decides to kill the leader – and everything dissolves into chaos.”

This abridged production of Macbeth uses the language of Shakespeare, with the exception of a few words and terms they’ve adapted to fit this setting. It’s brought to life by a cast of more than twenty student actors.

The show opened on Hallowe’en night, and continues on Friday and Saturday nights – November 1st and 2nd, and again on November 8th and 9th, with a 7 pm curtain time.

Tickets are available at the door: $8/adults; $6/students and seniors. Due to the intensity of the show, this Macbeth is only recommended for those ages 10 and up. All shows are in the Cleveland High School auditorium, 3400 S.E. 26th Avenue.