Rugged fabric and costume patterns cover the room, the hum of sewing machines and steady hands are at work. Downstairs in the greenroom of the Wise Cultural Arts Center, theater department members plan for their upcoming performance of Shakespeare’s “Macbeth.”
Rebecca Faulds, head director and costume designer, beams with excitement as she begins explaining each costume’s design and color scheme.
“Each color palette is based off the loyalty of the character. I wanted the audience to connect the relationships in this play,” said Faulds, noting that the lead character is pulled in different directions by those closest to him.
Shuffling through a rack of partially completed costumes, she pulls out Macduff’s ensemble. Characters loyal to Macduff wear shades of brown and other earth tones, while Macbeth’s loyalty colors are black and red, a portrayal of his character’s evil side.
With conflict both internal and external, this story about the lust of power is extremely geared towards the psychological. Thriving with human emotion, bloodshed, hate and revenge, this tragedy is set in Scotland around 1040.
The driving force behind Macbeth’s madness comes from the “weird sisters,” played by Ashley McClelland, Laura D’Eramo and Sylvia D’Eramo. Laura and Sylvia D’Eramo are not only sisters in the play but also sisters in real life.
“We plant the idea in Macbeth, tend to it, and watch it grow out of control,” said McClelland, freshman theater major who is appearing in her first TJC play.
Sitting in the greenroom after a late night rehearsal, Laura D’Eramo said the role is difficult. “It’s much more abstract than other roles. There’s not much to go off with the weird sisters. It’s truly up to your interpretation since there’s not much information given about them.”
Faulds’ vision for their characters wasn’t a typical “old hag” witch. The weird sisters in this version are more enticingly evil.
Samantha Fields, second-year theater major, plays Lady Macbeth, who also guides Macbeth in his decision-making. Covered in paint, Fields, like most other theater majors, is also in charge of painting the set. “As a theater student, we pretty much live here. Everyone works so hard to make this show everything that it can be. Exhausting is an understatement, but it is so worth it.”
Speaking of the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, Fields said, “They breathe for one another. Although the weird sisters planted the idea, he wouldn’t have the ability to carry out the murder without Lady Macbeth providing the backbone for it.”
The title character of this gut-wrenching play is Corey Finzel, a third-year student from Forth Worth.
“Macbeth is in all of us, in some way or another. Power is what spurs him on. He has those moments of doubt, but comes to a crossroads. It’s a constant struggle of choices and consequence, and I think of all us can relate to that,” said Faulds.