Macbeth at the Phoenix

Andrew Gotshall, Reporter

A Saturday at the Phoenix theater will be anything but typical. On October 12, the Petaluma Shakespeare Company put on Macbeth directed by John Langdon. The multi-faceted experience started before one could reach the ticket booth. The grim exterior of the Phoenix at such a late start time, 8pm, was an addendum to the thrilling and chilling atmosphere that Macbeth radiates. Upon entering, tickets are collected and you are warmly welcomed by the ushers and directed to the inner berths of the theater. Scrawled on the walls are a vibrant collection of graffiti that adds to the grunge experience. The Saturday night showing filled most of the humble white plastic folding chairs positioned in front of a spartan black stage. I shuffled my feet over the rough, exposed, fiber-board and found my chair. Quickly thereafter, the house lights dimmed and my ears were greeted with the beginnings of what was to be an amazingly produced soundstage.


I’m no Shakespeare expert, but from my limited playwright knowledge, the five actors made the story easy to follow and added their own personal flair to key scenes throughout the tragedy. The energy and enthusiasm that radiated from the stage was a peculiar contrast to the cool musty walls of the Phoenix, but it made for a thrilling experience. Skylar Bird — better known as Macbeth onstage — played his part with gusto and made sure use of his comedic talent as we watched Macbeth make mistake after bloody mistake. The five actors managed to play all the parts through multiple on stage costume changes, which was awkward at first, but eventually came to make more sense as the audience became more familiar with the cast. Lady Macbeth, played by Rosie Frater, was cunning and deceitful as ever. Her attitude towards the other actors resonated with the audience, whether it be anger or sorrow. 

Overall, the cast of Macbeth was passionate and positively engaging for the entirety of the 90 minutes.