'Macbeth' in a shipping container? Dzieci Theatre presents a ferocious, liberating ceremony, where every performance is totally unique. More…
Shakespeare’s ageless tale of greed, omens, and foul deeds comes alive with a small band of actors, who each take turns spontaneously trading off parts at the drop of a hat. Featuring haunting folk songs from Eastern Europe and a mere handful of props, Dzieci seeks to explore (and explode) the very nature of theater and storytelling.
"By far the most thrilling reinterpretation of 'Macbeth' we've ever seen...The lines and scenes were Shakespeare's nearly as he wrote them, but abridged enough that it wasn't the least bit cumbersome...Hats off to Mitler and his small but convincing cast for turning the same ol' same-old into something refreshingly, compellingly new. Even if you're not among the countless fans of The Bard, this production is worth giving a try." Full Review
“The performance itself is intimate and powerful. The actors’ trust in one another is palpable…While the performance is riveting, audiences who’ve had little exposure to ‘Macbeth’ may find the swapping of roles confusing. None of these things should dissuade audiences from seeing ‘Makbet,’ though. Dzieci’s staging of Shakespeare’s play is a truly unique and rewarding venture...Catch it while you can.” Full Review
"The combination of childish playfulness and the ritualistic approach to theater makes 'Makbet' a one-of-a-kind immersive show...The location, lighting, and props might sound like a scrappy DIY theater, but are in fact scrupulously fitted elements...'Makbet' is not to be missed. The beauty of Dzieci’s production is that, seemingly without trying, it can satisfy the tastes of very diverse audiences...All kinds of folk will find something precious in this experience." Full Review
"The elemental truth of the Scottish Play is brought forth in a profound, vivid, and completely unexpected way...The setting is more than a novelty, and reflects the company’s mission to authentically engage the community...The masterful use of space, movement, and diegetic music are not a replacement for engaging the poetry of Shakespeare, but rather in addition to...'Makbet' carries through the text’s slumps with the moment-to-moment intensity of the players." Full Review
"You haven’t seen 'Macbeth' until you’ve seen it presented by the Dzieci Theatre...It’s Shakespeare, all right, trimmed to two hours but with all the favorite passages retained. There’s a ritualistic aura about it, enhanced by frequent banging on the container sides and barely ceasing choral moaning and howling. You’ll have to decide how much of this you can take...The unexpected undertaking is an eye-popping-ear-poking confirmation that Shakespeare constructed something not easily degraded." Full Review
"A very fun and inventive staging...An ensemble of pretty incredible actors take turns spontaneously trading off parts at the drop of a hat...It would be difficult to see this telling of 'Macbeth' without a solid knowledge of the true Shakespearean play...Subtlety is not a word I would use for any of the scenes and performances...I was hoping for more levels and shades...In the end, the story unfolds dramatically, and we are engrossed (for the most part) in the telling of it." Full Review
“For me, the moment of revelation never arrived…The biggest problem, I think, is that, even with these technically skilled performers in charge, this production doesn't offer new insights that would justify its radically simplified approach…The necessary dramatic intensity is never achieved and the gypsy atmosphere comes to seem like an affectation; the best thing about ‘Makbet’ is its fast pace.” Full Review
"Left me a little dazed...If sweat is coursing down your body while the air is steadily thickening, you are not in an optimal environment for theatergoing...The ritual of storytelling is built into the staging, with some remarkably lovely movement sequences. But 'Makbet' is vastly more interested in magic—the dark kind and the theatrical kind—than it is in the bloody struggle for the crown. So there is no weight to its tragedy. It becomes merely an experiment in form." Full Review
"The choice to have three actors play all the characters becomes in practice chaotic. Any viewer who is unfamiliar with 'Macbeth' will probably have no idea what is going on...Mitler’s pacing of the performance is also disjointed...Each scene moves slowly and at the same speed as before, losing the attention of the audience and the energy of the play...By the end of the performance, it feels like a miracle to be let out of the hot and stuffy theater container to breathe fresh air." Full Review
"An intense and deeply satisfying version of Shakespeare's tragedy...The small space works well in compelling the audience to share very intimately the characters’ suffering and passions. And oh, such passions...Mitler sticks faithfully to Shakespeare’s original text, with judicious trims, in his adaptation...It's all terrific theatre...It's a good bet that at every performance, these scenes—and indeed the entire play—will be acted with riveting intensity." Full Review
for a previous production “Wildly entertaining…An intimately unruly and unforgettable experience…Shakespeare’s words blend with guttural cries, crafting a production filled with passion, at times jarring but never false…In such close quarters, there are probably no more than 25 seats in the whole container, there is no room for an insincere reaction from the actors, and there never was...It’s a thrilling production that manages to put a new and exciting spin on a show we’ve seen a thousand times." Full Review
for a previous production “You will likely need to have at least read ‘Macbeth’ before to keep all of the minor characters straight, but it is remarkable how well this ensemble tells an emotionally engaging, clear story…The constant shifting of roles between the actors also allows for fascinating transgressive gender moments as well as the maturing of relationships…A ‘gypsy ritual Macbeth’ could have gone horribly wrong, but under the expert guidance of Dzieci Theatre Group 'Makbet' soars.” Full Review
for a previous production “‘Makbet,’ successfully adapted, directed, and acted by Matt Mitler, triumphantly recreates the story of ‘Macbeth’ in a shockingly unconventional way while maintaining the integral notion that Fate cannot be fought against. Perhaps what is most memorable about this piece of art is the opening and closing Eastern European songs that are ceremoniously sung...Those lucky enough to attend ‘Makbet’ will thank Fate for allowing them to end up at such an important theatrical experience.” Full Review
for a previous production “Memory fails if I have seen a realization of 'Macbeth' that so captures its sense of confinement and moral entrapment…You don’t follow it so much as let it wash over you...The actors give themselves up, as containers, through which the play, with all its malevolence, courses…This is not a 'Macbeth' that leaves you thinking that human nature is irredeemable, but a cleansing ceremony, cathartic in the ancient sense, that does the opposite, dramatic substance as an agent of purification." Full Review
for a previous production “This improvisational, site-specific production achieves a great deal with just a few tools…The dramatic moments were more successful than the comedic…When all three became Lady Macbeth as she descends into madness, passing off line after line to each other, and wrapping all in her symbolic red scarf, the mechanism of this unusual staging approach worked to greatest effect...With its rich musical landscape and its unusual presentation, ‘Makbet’ provides an unexpected twist on a classic.” Full Review
for a previous production “A lively, thrilling experience that feels as much like a children’s game as a carefully considered ritual…The rabid enthusiasm that Dzieci has applied to the frame of the piece and the different storytelling elements go a long way toward illustrating the world and immersing the audience, but it was difficult, at times, to discern what was happening…Ultimately, 'Makbet' is a fun experience, and a provocative sample of experimental storytelling, but not an effective depiction of the classic." Full Review
See it if you want a good time. No, I mean it. That's this entire thing in a nutshell. I don't need to repeat that it's immersive or that it's indie.
Don't see it if you only want traditional interpretations of Macbeth.
See it if you are looking for something a bit different. Three actors (aided by 3 musicians) trade off all the roles -- and it works remarkably well.
Don't see it if you are claustrophobic or uncomfortable sitting on a milk crate for 90 mins.
See it if you want to experience theater in a way you perhaps haven't before and enjoy an immersive, intense experience.
Don't see it if you don't enjoy immersive theater, you are not fond of confined spaces.
See it if You don't mind meeting in a shipping container in a recycling plant. And if you're familiar with Macbeth
Don't see it if You do not know the story of Macbeth, or if you're expecting a traditional play. This is highly experimental but it pays off
See it if You are interested in a quintessential off-off Broadway immersive theatre experience. Storage container, recycling facility, vodka - check!
Don't see it if you only like classical Shakespeare productions, don't like Brooklyn or sitting on milk crates. But you'd be missing out.
See it if you'd like theater as it once was: a community around a "fire" that relied on words, songs, & imagination (not sets, costumes, celebrities).
Don't see it if you expect a big budget, comfy seats, or consistent accents. You're claustrophobic, sensitive to smells, or not familiar w/the story.
See it if you want an adventure. The unusual environment emphasizes the ritual & magic at the center of MacBeth. An unique performance experience
Don't see it if you are unfamiliar with Macbeth. The company changes roles using costume pieces to indicate which character they are playing at each moment.
See it if you are willing to give yourself over to an experience. You are familiar with Shakespeare's text and open to a no traditional exploration.
Don't see it if you need a literal staging and a comfortable seat.
See it if You like when classics are performed in unique places and small casts that do a lot. Know Macbeth pretty well and like "old country" music.
Don't see it if You can't deal with actors playing more than one part or when actors interact with audience members.
See it if You want an experience. Pre-show interactions were fun and charming. The actual show was well acted and the acapella singing was dramatic.
Don't see it if You can't sit on a crate for more than an hour. You need everything to be set up and clear. You don't like dim or self-lit lighting.
See it if you like unique playing spaces (a shipping container to house the production & audience), generous small theater companies & u know the plot
Don't see it if you're claustrophobic or a Shakespeare purist. The decision to have actors jump in whenever they wish to take over a role makes it muddy.
See it if you aren't freaked out by interactive theater, sing-alongs in other languages, and know the story of Macbeth well. The characters switch off
Don't see it if The seating is overturned milk crates (v. uncomfortable for 95 minutes); they feed you vodka & sausage & make you sing. It's quite mystical.
See it if you are an open person who loves a true New York experience and loves Shakespeare in all its glory.
Don't see it if Sitting on a milk crate in a shipping container in a recycling yard in Bushwick does not appeal to you.
See it if You like innovative and creative adaptations of Shakespeare; talented, high-energy actors, and unique, fun audience experiences.
Don't see it if You like traditional theater or the weather is hot (no AC in a shipping container).
See it if you'd enjoy a communal experience rife with ritual, music, food and drink, and a masterful Macbeth performed in a shipping container
Don't see it if you dislike immersive experiences or confined spaces
See it if You're game You like the idea of spitting your troubles into a burning trash barrel You want the Macbeth's punches to shake the walls
Don't see it if You assume Shakespeare is always boring. You think theater is just for watching. Sitting on a milk crate for 1 hr+ would hurt your back.
See it if you know your McDuff's from your Banquo's and you want a fresh new take on the Bard's classic tragedy - it's a fantastic evening, enjoy!
Don't see it if intense theatre isn't your sort of thing, you struggle with intimate and tight performance spaces, or if you don't know Macbeth at all
See it if You like creative, intimate, intense stagings. You're a fan of interpretive physicality, versatile acting, and great ensemble chemistry.
Don't see it if You don't like loud, aggressive interpretations. You aren't familiar with the plot of Macbeth. You're bothered by uncomfortable seating.
See it if You want solid Shakespeare performed in a non-traditional manner w/Eastern European stylings. You enjoy immersive theatre.
Don't see it if You hate closed-in spaces and/or extended periods of darkness. You dislike immersive theatre. You like traditional Shakespeare w/no add-ins.
See it if you know Macbeth pretty well and you want to see a very different, sometimes powerful version of it.
Don't see it if you don't like small spaces or can't sit on a milk crate. Also, if you have social anxiety, DO NOT GET THERE EARLY.
See it if You want a unique immersive experience with great acting and full commitment to entertaining
Don't see it if You are at all claustrophobic, can't sit on a milkcrate for the duration, hate immersive and loud sounds spook you
See it if you like unconventional stagings of Shakespeare, small casts, and surprisingly excellent acapella music.
Don't see it if you're claustrophobic, or you're a Shakespeare purist
See it if You'd enjoy an evening with Eastern European Shakespearean fortune tellers in a shipping container in a junkyard (uh, recycling center)
Don't see it if You don't like experimental, immersive Shakespeare or Balkan style music, the smell of compost and a close, dark playing space
See it if you enjoy style over substance. The concept seems to be this company's only concern, not the text that they're performing.
Don't see it if you don't have a solid grasp of The Scottish Play or want to see actors bring something new or interesting to classic roles.
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