WESTMINSTER — "Macbeth," one of William Shakespeare's best-known tragedies, will be presented by Westminster High students at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow in theschool auditorium.
The curtain will go up at the same time for performances on Friday and Saturday evening.
A cast of 39 students, directed by drama teacher Mary Lou Grout, will act in this story of free will, predestination and one man's climb to power.
Grout, who has been directing productions at the school for 10 years, said she chose the play because of student interest.
"The students really wanted me to do this play. We had good feedback from our last Shakespeare play," said Grout, who has directed other plays by the writer.
"Macbeth" is one of Shakespeare's most dynamic plays, incorporating elements including murder, mystery and witchcraft.
The play focuses on the ambitious Macbeth, a Scottish lord, who is told by an apparition that he will one day become King of Scotland.
"He seizes the opportunity to assassinate the king of Scotland when he comes to visit Macbeth," said Grout. "Once he becomes king, (Macbeth) finds that because of his ego and fright, he needs to continue tormenting and instilling fear in others."
Matt Van Wagner, a 17-year-old senior who plays Macbeth, said it's variations in personality that make his character intriguing.
"I like the characterbecause he keeps changing throughout the play," Van Wagner said. "Hestarts out as a good guy. He's loyal to the king. Eventually, he is influenced by the evil around him, and he will do whatever is necessary to become king."
Macbeth is not alone in his climb to the top, as his wife, Lady Macbeth, encourages him to do whatever it takes to end the reign of King Duncan.
"Lady Macbeth is not boring. She is a diverse character," said 16-year-old junior Beth Sterrett. "I like playing her because there are many facets to her personality. She seems to always get what she wants."
Fifteen-year-old Mason Stone plays Macduff, a Scottish nobleman who eventually determines Macbeth's fate.
"Macduff is originally a supporter of the king, but then becomes suspicious," Stone said. "Macbeth sends his murderers to kill Macduff's wife and children. Because of this action, Macduff wants revenge and he gets it."
While language has sometimes been a barrier for audiences viewing Shakespeare, Grout and her cast said their performance of Macbeth will offer a few extras.
"We will be doing the play in traditional Renaissance dress," said Grout, whose costumes are being furnished by Geyer's Theatre Shop in Westminster. "Instead of three witches (the number Shakespeare used), we are using 15 witches.
The show also has a lot of special effects and some sword fighting."
Tickets for all three performances will be sold at the door. Tickets are $3; senior citizens are admitted free.