When the casting call went out for the Mercyhurst Drama Guild's production of
Macbeth, students representing a broad cross-section of disciplines, from intelligence studies to chemistry to music, came prepared to audition.
Because Mercyhurst does not offer a theater major, the guild's faculty adviser, Dr. Hillary Fogerty, assistant professor of English, was not sure what to expect from this eclectic assemblage of non-Shakespearean actors. What she found was "talent" beyond her expectations, and what she hopes for the fledgling guild's second annual production is "a sellout."
The cast of 26 presents Macbeth on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Jan. 26-28, at 7:30 p.m. in Taylor Little Theatre. Ticket prices are: Adults and seniors, $5; Mercyhurst President’s Cardholders, $4; and, in an attempt to entice as many young people as possible to experience the last of Shakespeare’s four great tragedies, $1 for all students.
The Mercyhurst Drama Guild was organized last year by Fogerty in an attempt to create more opportunities for theater at the college. Its inaugural members included mostly freshmen and sophomores who, last February, staged their first performance, "She Stoops to Conquer."
"We did very well last year, and we have many of the same people returning this year, plus even more underclassmen, so it is a very young group," Fogerty said.
She is particularly encouraged by the performance of sophomore Joe Zamora, who stars as Macbeth.
"He is absolutely amazing," Fogerty said. "He inspires me to do this. He is that good."
Other headliners include Amanda Valauri as Lady Macbeth, Joe Will as Macduff and Sally Applebee as Malkia (a female version of Shakespeare’s Malcolm).
Fogerty said she has received widespread support from the college community, naming Dr. Heidi Hosey in the office of academic affairs, which is funding this venture; Gary Cardot and his students in the art department; education faculty Ruth Auld, who is helping sew costumes; and Dr. Alice Edwards, chair of world languages and cultures, and music department chair Dr. Al Glinsky, who have lent their children, Maia and Luka, respectively; to the cast of characters.
If all goes well, Fogerty said she is hoping to produce more than one drama a year.
"What I'd like us to have is a season; that's my goal," she said.