Greenfield Players’ ‘Macbeth’ premieres Saturday

  • Cast member Sarah Close, playing Macbeth, and Producer Rachel Cronen-Townsend, playing Macduff, rehearse for the upcoming production of “Macbeth,” which will be performed at Energy Park in Greenfield. Contributed photo

Staff Writer
Published: 10/12/2021 3:46:52 PM

GREENFIELD — The Greenfield Players, a community theater company established this summer, will debut its production of “Macbeth” at Energy Park on Saturday.

The production, scheduled for four dates in October, is sponsored by the Recreation Department. Guests are asked to bring a blanket or lawn chair to the free event.

Director Beth Oliveira said she and Producer Rachel Cronen-Townsend met when they performed together in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, when many theater productions came to a halt.

“She was kind of the one who came up with this idea to have theater in Greenfield,” Oliveira said. “Because of COVID, a lot of productions did not perform last summer.”

After tossing around a few ideas for Shakespeare productions, they settled on “Macbeth,” the story of a Scottish general who is told by three witches he will be king, and a tale of murder and betrayal ensues.

“Story-wise, it’s fairly straightforward,” Oliveira said. “But it’s the people who make it fresh and new.”

Oliveira said she did “gender-blind casting.”

“Gender was inconsequential in that we were just looking for male-identifying people for ‘Macbeth,’” she said.

Her producer, Cronen-Townsend, for example, will play the role of “Macbeth,” who is usually a male character.

“It’s interesting playing with the language like that,” Oliveira said.

“We’re trying to make theater open to everyone,” she added.

The 18-person cast and two-person crew is made up mostly of people from Western Massachusetts, many of whom are from Greenfield and surrounding towns. Oliveira said some people are performing double duty and wearing multiple hats.

In general, it’s a DIY, or do-it-yourself, production. Even the costumes are borrowed.

“We’re sort of a fledgling theater company,” she said. “This is all on a volunteer basis. … This is all just sort of passion-based.”

Auditions took place in August. Rehearsals began in late August and continued into September and October.

Oliveira said it’s “exhilarating” to once again have the opportunity to bring theater back to the people of Greenfield and the surrounding communities.

“It’s very exciting,” she said. “I feel like everybody was a little tentative coming out, because everybody has different comfort levels. … This is the outlet they missed, and seeing projects come together and being together in the sense of a community putting on a show … is really exciting to be doing again.”

In case of rain, performances will be moved from Energy Park to the Greenfield Middle School with a 15-minute delay.

Show Dates

■Saturday, Oct. 16, at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.

■Sunday, Oct. 17, at 2 p.m.

■Saturday, Oct. 23, at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.

■Sunday, Oct. 24, at 2 p.m.

Reporter Mary Byrne can be reached at mbyrne@recorder.com or 413-930-4429. Twitter: @MaryEByrne




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