Macbeth -- oops, I mean the Scottish play -- is William Shakespeare's shortest drama, but it'll get even shorter Aug. 18, when the brand-new Cannon Theatre Company opens its version of the thriller, Witches' Macbeth.
Developed in workshops with Andrei Serban and designer Paul Steinberg, Witches' Macbeth tells the Shakespearean story of greed and murder in just 75 minutes -- that, plus a live band. The angle taken by the ensemble-created piece is that the three witches in the play have masterminded Macbeth and Lady Macbeth's rise and bloody downfall. Cannon Company artistic director Richard Kimmel adapted the piece and also directs.
Heading a 20-plus actor ensemble in the adaptation are Andrew Garman, Holly Natwora and Nitza Wilon. Designing the piece are C. David Russell (sets), Caitlin Ward (costumes) and Lap-Chi Chu (lighting), with Mia Theodoratus providing original music.
The goal of the not-for-profit Cannon Company is to present classic texts in an ongoing ensemble. Witches' Macbeth is being presented as part of two concurrent festivals: the first NY International Fringe Festival (Aug. 13-22) and, in-between, Tiny Mythic's American Living Room Festival at the HERE space on 6th Ave.
According to Cannon spokesperson Paula Wenger, the company's next venture will be The Three Sisters in December or January 1998. For tickets and information on Witches' Macbeth call 1-888 FRINGE NYC (for the Fringe Fest dates) or (212) 647-0202 (for the HERE dates).
--By David Lefkowitz