Performances of Macbeth in the parking lot play Thursdays - Saturdays at 8 PM, continuing through Aug. 26.
Ontiveros used the rivalry and friendship of real-life revolutionaries Fidel Castro and Che Guevara as the genesis of his re-interpretation of the classic story. "The idea is of soldiers, one of whom comes into power but doesn't know how to rule, only how to behave like a soldier. He lives by the rule of 'if not war, then at least death.' So he makes the earth bleed," says Ontiveros, who is of Mexican heritage, in an online statement.
"Macbeth is a play about power, and this production seeks perspective on its eternal themes from the political history of Latino cultures."
The set utilizes aspects of the parking lot: a withered, viney tree that is embedded in a fence and a large wall with graffiti, suggesting an urban jungle.
"When Jesse brought me his concept for a Latino 'Macbeth,' I thought it would be an ideal vehicle for Shakespeare in the Parking Lot to expand the community it serves," says Hamilton Clancy, the Drilling Company's artistic director, online. "The Clemente is dedicated to the Latino community, and so it serves a very specific part of the Lower East Side that we have not yet been able to engage fully, even though we aim to serve the entire multicultural community." The Drilling Company founders launched Shakespeare in the Parking Lot in 1995. For 20 years, they have staged free shows in the neighborhood known as the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area, which is now giving way to Essex Crossing, a giant mixed-used development. It took the company nine months to secure the new space, which is just three blocks from the original, continuing the company's mission to bring free Shakespeare to New York's Lower East Side neighborhood.
Performances will be given at 114 Norfolk St., on the east side of Norfolk Street between Delancey and Rivington Streets. For more information visit drillingcompany.org.