New York | 1h 4m | Already closed

Till Birnam Wood... (FringeNYC)

From 7 critic and 20 member reviews
Members say: Absorbing, Intense, Clever, Riveting, Ambitious

About the show

Part of FringeNYC: Encounter the witches, slip on your blindfold, and fall into the darkness of Macbeth's Scotland. Till Birnam an immersive, sensory experience of Shakespeare's darkest work, literally. Audience members experience this fast-paced and intense production completely blindfolded. More…

Categories: Drama, National. From John Schultz Presents. Written by William Shakespeare. Directed by John Schultz.

1h 4m | Already closed | DROM (East Village)

DC Metro Theater Arts

"The formidable ensemble of eight is not confined to a traditional stage, but moves freely around the space and the audience...Schultz’s direction is acute, his design effective, and his concept impactful, as he and his cast demolish the fourth wall and thrust us into the midst of the tumultuous action. 'Till Birnam Wood' will equip you to appreciate the genius that is Shakespeare and to 'see' 'Macbeth' like you never have before." Full Review


"No question Shakespeare's language dominates here, with all the hallucinatory power that is woven into the dramatic fabric of 'Macbeth.' And though you won't see the acting ensemble on stage (unless you peek), you will sense their presence and listen to their virtuosity…True, 'Till Birnam Wood' doesn't fully explore the nooks and crannies of the great tragedy. But Schultz does hammer home the notion that 'seeing' a play depends less on open eyes and more on an open mind." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

“By no means a revolutionary new take on ‘Macbeth,’ it is a refreshing way to enjoy a piece considerably overdone in the last couple of years...Manages to control the somewhat frenzied movement of the story without any visual cues. By leaving so much of what we 'see' as an audience to the imagination, it in a way creates a very personalized production...Yet with a piece so dark and seemingly dangerous, he never challenges your sense of safety or comfort.” Full Review

Time Out New York

“A ‘blindfolded theatrical experience,’ and it’s hard to know exactly what director John Schultz sees in this concept...Our other senses are only fitfully engaged: There are sounds and a few piped-in smells (the Pinesol-scented air of the forest), but nothing by way of touch or taste. Although the text is delivered cleanly, especially by Ladies Macbeth and Macduff, those who don’t already know Shakespeare’s play extremely well may find this version confusing and a little dull.” Full Review

Philadelphia City Paper

for a previous production "Experiencing 'Macbeth' blindfolded is not a gimmick – it's a rare and fascinating experience that made me reconsider the process of seeing a play…John Schultz's careful hour-long cutting unfolds through the nuanced voices of an impressive cast…When we're allowed to remove our blindfolds, the hour seems to have passed like a dream. If we didn't see it, did it happen? Yes, yes, it did. And it was wonderful." Full Review


for a previous production "Blindly following the flow of the Elizabethan language issuing forth from a capable cast who know their craft. The malevolent ambition, murder, mysticism, mayhem and madness is clearly felt...The heart of this play beats in the emotional timbre of voices...and in small eerie silences that, without visual interference, loom seemingly large. Not seeing the play is an illuminating experience; it appears in the mind’s eye, like a sequential dream or nightmare." Full Review

The Art Blog

for a previous production "There’s plenty to listen to, besides the literally thundering sound design. The audience becomes the opposite of the sleepwalking Lady Macbeth, whose eyes stay open while their 'sense is shut'. Jennifer Summerfield plays Lady M. with chillingly distinct musicality and brutality, and Keith Conallen’s Macbeth cuts through the dark in every scene. The actors seem to fly off the stage as soon as our blindfolds are on, declaiming from every corner and often right in your ear." Full Review

Original, Great acting, Masterful, Profound, Riveting

See it if Fans of Shakespeare. Open to a new theatrical experience

Don't see it if Afraid of the dark. Need to see, not just hear.

Ambitious, Exquisite, Enchanting, Clever, Absorbing

See it if You want to experience a truly unique and fantastic show. Absolutely entrancing!

Don't see it if If you're looking for something lighthearted...I mean COME ON, this is Macbeth we're talking about!

Intense, Edgy, Exquisite, Enchanting, Absorbing

See it if You are familiar with Macbeth & enjoy inventive theatre. I honestly do not understand how anyone who's into Shakespeare could not love it

Don't see it if You are uncomfortable being blindfolded. Seriously though, this needs to be remounted somewhere.

Clever, Great acting, Intense, Riveting

See it if You're open to new sensory experiences, like Macbeth, want an interesting experience

Don't see it if you get scared or overwhelmed by sensory input easily, if you know nothing about Macbeth

Original, Absorbing, Clever

See it if You like original productions of Shakespeare, are comfortable in the dark, are familiar with Macbeth.

Don't see it if You have problems wearing a blindfold, are hard of hearing, or don't like feeling spooked.

Riveting, Intense, Intelligent, Clever, Absorbing

See it if you love Macbeth

Don't see it if you don't know Macbeth very well - since you're blindfolded you might get lost if you don't know the story.

Cliched, Ambitious, Disappointing

See it if you are interested in the creation of soundscape / interested in re-staging of a Shakespeare work

Don't see it if can't follow the Shakespeare language

Riveting, Must see, Intense, Masterful, Exquisite

See it if you seek a truly immersive, all-encompassing theatrical experience that will leave you physiologically affected. Absolutely breathtaking.

Don't see it if the idea of not being able to see the movement of performers around you is too scary to deal with; you want a traditional theatre experience

Sensory, Absorbing, Entertaining, Original, Thought-provoking

See it if You want a unique take on Macbeth. This is a sensory theatre experience.

Don't see it if You don't like to do new and exciting things.

Refreshing, Intense, Great acting, Enchanting, Absorbing

See it if You want to experience Macbeth in an exhilarating journey of the non visual senses. A wonderfully atmospheric adaptation, so original.

Don't see it if You fear your own imaginative power or are uncomfortable about being spooked.

Great staging, Clever, Riveting, Original, Absorbing

See it if If you know Macbeth, or never heard of it.

Don't see it if edgy different experiences bother you. And of course if you're afraid of the dark.

Absorbing, Intense, Masterful, Riveting, Original

See it if You want to experience Shakespeare in a brand new (and terrifying!) way

Don't see it if You're absolutely terrified of the dark and think you'll pee yourself

Riveting, Resonant, Intense, Edgy, Absorbing

See it if You love Shakespeare, horror, and unique theatrical experiences

Don't see it if You're a scaredy cat

Edgy, Entertaining, Enchanting, Clever, Absorbing

See it if You're up for a new experience and want an all in sensory experience.

Don't see it if You're scared of being blindfolded.

Refreshing, Great acting, Ambitious, Clever, Absorbing

See it if You want to hear Shakespeare performed well and enjoy being scared.

Don't see it if You aren't open to new experiences or don't like being blindfolded.

Original, Refreshing, Clever, Entertaining, Ambitious

See it if you want a new way to experience a Shakespeare classic. It's a fresh and exciting assault on your aural and olfactory senses.

Don't see it if you're afraid of the dark.

Intense, Clever, Enchanting, Ambitious, Entertaining

See it if you are interested in Shakespeare and innovative theater experiences.

Don't see it if you don't like being blindfolded.

Resonant, Edgy, Absorbing

See it if You really love Shakespeare or are just looking for a unique theatrical experience.

Don't see it if You think it's going to be highly interactive like a Sleep no More type of production

Intense, Confusing, Fun, Great acting

See it if you enjoy Shakespeare well told, old time radio, and books on tape.

Don't see it if you don't know Macbeth pretty well already.

Confusing, Intense, Ambitious

See it if you want to see a show where they are actually trying to be different. Stands out.

Don't see it if you are looking for a thoughtful adaptation that makes the most of the concept. But it hits marks at times for sure.