Macbeth — Gangster style

Macbeth — Gangster style

M-CHS actor passionate about new role and all things Shakespeare
MacBeth, played by Joshua Martin, stands under a street light during dress rehearsal.
With bloodstained hands, Macbeth, Josh Martin, tells Lady Macbeth, Cheyenne Baber, that the deed is done.
Macbeth, played by Joshua Martin, trains his gun on the Witches, Amanda Echols, Kaylee Brinkerhoff and Amy Campbell, in a scene from Macbeth. In back is Banquo, Caden O’Brien.
Lady Macbeth is first part for senior

Cheyenne Baber is moving to the stage for the first time. The 17-year-old Montezuma-Cortez High School senior has only seen the other side of the stage since joining the school's theater department last year.

Normally working behind the scenes as part of the props crew, Baber finally braved the auditions and landed her first acting role as Lady Macbeth. A great accomplishment for a shy but surprisingly, outspoken young lady.

Baber is nervous but excited about her newfound place in the spotlight.

'I've been meaning to audition for awhile,' Baber says. 'I was never brave enough until now, but I love Shakespeare. What better way to get to know the language, and the writing better, than to be in the show.'

Baber is turning her talent for crafting items into props, dressing sets and changing scenes, into shifting herself into the sultry, villainess that is Lady Macbeth. The responsibility is high, but the stress is menial compared to being a prop designer. The moments during a show when sets have to be rearranged are a hectic time. Baber says those little things are not her problem anymore, and it's strange to cross to the other side.

Though she will portray one of Shakespeare's most malevolent female characters, Baber says it comes fairly easy.

'I'm no psychopath,' Baber says with a laugh. 'But it won't be super difficult for me to have that darker outlook of Lady Macbeth. The difficult part for me will be the physical role. She's supposed to be sultry and I am not that. So the evil part wasn't as hard as the other.'

Gearing up for her role was not hard either. Baber says she is a fan of Shakespeare and has voluntarily read many of his plays on her own time. However, she had not read Macbeth. M-CHS theater department director, Nicholaus Sandner, recommended the students do as much research as possible. The website No Fear Shakespeare, was a helpful tool for many of the actors. The language, thankfully, was not something she was unfamiliar with.

'It was harder to memorize the lines, not understand them,' Baber explains. 'We're not used to speaking that way, so any spare moment I had, over the last three months, was spent going over lines.'

She also used her spare time researching costumes and characters of the 1940 gangster films to better portray her own character.

Though Baber is nervous about stepping onto the stage, she is anxious to see how the grayscale effects will come across to the audience. For a technical person turned actress, Baber still worries about the outcome of those behind the scenes details.

Event though they aren't her problem anymore.



rachels@cortezjournal.com

Macbeth Showtimes

Where: Montezuma-Cortez High School Auditorium

When: Friday and Saturday Jan. 25 and 26 at 7 p.m.; Friday and Saturday Feb. 1 and 2 at 7 p.m.

There will be a special matinee showing at 2 p.m. on Feb. 2.

The show will be performed in classic film noir style but the language will remain Shakespearean.

Tickets: $8 for adults and $5 for students and seniors. Children five and under are free.

Macbeth — Gangster style

MacBeth, played by Joshua Martin, stands under a street light during dress rehearsal.
With bloodstained hands, Macbeth, Josh Martin, tells Lady Macbeth, Cheyenne Baber, that the deed is done.
Macbeth, played by Joshua Martin, trains his gun on the Witches, Amanda Echols, Kaylee Brinkerhoff and Amy Campbell, in a scene from Macbeth. In back is Banquo, Caden O’Brien.
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