Q&A with Macbeth Artistic Director Steve Hart

The Secret Theater at 44-02 23rd Street will begin a Wombat Theater production of Macbeth beginning April 30. Ahead of the opening, we spoke with Artistic Director Steve Hart for a question an answer about the upcoming production.

1. Tell us about your production.

Our production is Shakespeare’s potent tragedy on the nature of ambition: Macbeth. The play takes you through the bloody rise and paranoid reign of the notorious Scottish warrior and down into the all-consuming depths of his madness. It’s also jam packed with witches, ghosts, murders and fights, so it’s not just the most amazing language but also great fun.

2. What twist have you put on this classic play?

We’ve approached the play through an expressionistic lens, focusing on the feeling of what Macbeth is going through, so it’s a very fast paced, intense and visceral production. Macbeth starts out like anyone else, a man with ambitions, but his inner demons manifest in ways that wreck havoc on all those around him. His dreams turn into his nightmares and we’re taking that very literally. We’ve put his demons on the stage in the form of the witches and giving the audience a look at what he sees, imagines and feels. It makes for a very exciting and visually complex production.

3. Why the Secret Theater?

The Secret Theatre is just a great space. The people who run the space are a pleasure to deal with and the audiences are very appreciative. We had a lot of success there with our last production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I think it’s fantastic that there’s a theatre like that with reasonably priced tickets so that residents don’t have to go into Manhattan and pay exorbitant amounts to see good theatre. We also love that it’s such an intimate space where all the seats are close to the stage and everyone is right in the action. For this production, in particular, we want the audience to be close to and really immersed in Macbeth’s nightmare.

4. Tell us about your company.

Wombat Theatre has been around for about 3 years and we’ve done 10 productions in that time. It’s a rare luxury these days to be able to work with the same people and really create an ensemble of actors and designers. It’s also given us the chance to create our own aesthetic and to explore innovative staging techniques. We did a site specific and immersive production of Cyrano De Bergerac, intwined slam poetry in Sam Shepard’s Fool for Love, and included masks and puppets in our production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I feel incredibly lucky to be working with such a dedicated and talented group of people over and over again. If anyone wants to see some examples of our work they can go to our website at wombattheatre.org.


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