“Double, double, toil and trouble” — the witches’ caldron will bubble on the beach at the Indian River Life-Saving Station on Thursday, Sept. 18, at 7:30 p.m., and those who attend can bring a beach chair, blanket, picnic and friends.
For the fourth year, the Brown Box Theatre Project is bringing free outdoor performances of a different Shakespeare play to Delmarva. This year, we are being treated to “Macbeth,” Shakespeare’s spellbinding vision of ambition, treachery, mystery and magic.
Whether one’s last connection with Shakespeare was in high school or you are a devotee of the bard, audiences are consistently delighted by Brown Box’s innovative, enthusiastic, youthful and totally professional treatment of every scene.
The Brown Box Theatre Project was founded in 2009 by Kyler Taustin, who grew up on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and graduated from Emmerson College’s theater directing program. He saw a need for classical and contemporary theater to be equally available for all members of any community, not just the privileged few.
As noted on their website (www.thebrownboxtheatre.org), the first free performance was “Twelfth Night” in Ocean City, Md., in 2011, financed with a Kickstarter campaign and a prayer. Brown Box’s current Shakespeare season includes a dozen locations throughout Delmarva.
Like the traveling medieval troupes that brought their shows from the cities to the villages on the back of a wagon, they load up their truck from one location and are ready to set up the next day in another. Their theatrical taste tends toward sets that are simple, characters that provoke and language that resonates. Anything that does not fit in the truck gets left behind!
Comments on Facebook from various Macbeth performances thus far include “Fantastic,” “Amazing” and “Wonderful.” One woman who attended the show in Berlin, Md., wrote, “Thanks for a truly fabulous performance tonight! My nieces (ages 10 & 14) sat on the edges of their seats throughout the entire performance. Their first Shakespeare play was an amazing night to remember!”
At the Indian River Life-Saving Station venue within Delaware Seashore State Park, the audience sits under the stars with the soft sounds of the ocean in the background, while being transported by the actors and the set into a different time and place. It is magical; perfect for putting one’s cares and woes on the back burner for a couple of mesmerizing hours.
“We were told that this is Brown Box’s favorite spot for the performance,” said Laura Scharle, the park’s interpretive manager. “Last year, we had a great turnout, and everyone was asking us whether it would be an annual event. We sure hope so. Everyone loves it.”
If you are unable to attend Thursday’s performance of Macbeth, the next closest location for Coastal Point readers is Northside Park in Ocean City on Saturday, Sept. 20, at 7:30 p.m.