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50th Annual Arkansas Shakespeare Festival
Published: February 25 2016

The Arkansas State University-Beebe Theater Department will celebrate the 50th Annual Arkansas Shakespeare Festival with the presentation of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth on Friday, March 4 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, March 5, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, March 6 at 2:30 p.m. at the Owen Center Auditorium.  The event is free admission and open to the public.


Since the primary objective of the Arkansas Shakespeare Festival is to enhance education in Arkansas by bringing Shakespeare’s plays alive for Arkansas students, there will be two special morning matinees on Thursday, March 3 and Friday, March 4 at 10:30 a.m.

Following the school performances, the cast and crew will be available to meet with students for a question and answer session.   


Macbeth is Shakespeare’s shortest and one of his bloodiest tragedies. It tells the story of a brave Scottish warrior and general named Macbeth, played by Matthew Rhodes, who receives a prophecy from three witches (Ashley Paden, Shannon Glidewell and Sara Thomas) that one day he will become King of Scotland. Dark ambition takes over and through the prodding of his wife (Savanna Jacobs), the Lady herself, Macbeth murders King Duncan (Cullen Dunn) and takes the throne for himself. Guilt and paranoia consume Macbeth and the tyrannical ruler is forced to commit more and more murders to protect himself and his crown. The bloodbath and consequent civil war swiftly take Macbeth and Lady Macbeth into the realms of hubris, madness and death. 


Also featured in the cast are Chris Bartlett as Seyton, Joseph Blackwell as a Murderer, Jason Fisher as Banquo and Porter, Bryan Gaston as a Murderer, Angel Harrison as Macduff’s child, Mutema Kwanisai as Mistress Maeve, Jacob Ladyman as Macduff, Kasey Lindsey as Angus, Jay McAnally as the Sergant and Siward, Jessica Meadows as Lennox and Mistress Margaret, Rachael Minin as a Warrior, Amanda Morea as Lady Macduff, Rachel Murtishaw as Fleance and Mistress Mary Margaret, Emily Rollins as Ross, and Chloe Veuleman as Macduff’s child and Young Siward. 


The Arkansas Shakespeare Festival is one of the oldest continuous educational Shakespeare festivals in America. The festival was founded on the ASU-Beebe campus in 1966. Since then, more than 300 performances of 50 Shakespeare plays have been presented.


ASU-Beebe is the only two-year college in the state of Arkansas that offers an Associate of Fine Arts (AFA) degree. The AFA degree has an emphasis in vocal music or instrumental music, theater, graphic design, or creative arts enterprise. This degree is a comprehensive two-year curriculum designed specifically for transfer toward a bachelor’s degree in fine arts.


The Owen Center Auditorium is located at 910 Pecan Street in Beebe. Schools planning to attend the special morning matinee performances should register early by calling Karly Carter at (501) 882-4495 or email kkcarter@asub.edu or sfwilliams@asub.edu. For additional information, view the ASU-Beebe website at www.asub.edu.