“I didn’t pick Macbeth for current political times,” says Director Claire Kelly. “But it’s timely. It’s always timely. It’s about human ambition, tyranny, and morality.”

This summer, Shakespeare on the Sound returns with the Scottish play, presented in Rowayton’s Pinkney Park. The show will run from June 15 to July 3, Tuesday to Sunday at 7:30 p.m. 

Rehearsals began with a week-long script workshop, which will move into ensemble workshops and blocking (what each scene will look like) as the weeks progress.

The company picks shows two seasons in advance, and pairing Macbeth with 2016’s Hamlet was a conscious choice. “The shows have many similar and different aspects,” says Kelly. “Hamlet is Shakespeare’s longest tragedy; Macbeth is his shortest. Macbeth makes many decisions, and Hamlet can’t decide…they pair well with each other.”

Shakespeare on the Sound will welcome new actors and actresses into its production this year, and several will be children. One of the witches (famous figures in the Shakespearean canon) will be played by a local 12 year-old.

“Every theater makes cuts to Shakespeare,” Kelly says of her modifications. “But Macbeth needs very few. It’s told very precisely.” The story will be set in a “time gone by,” and not a specific time period. However, the past, present and future (represented by the three witches) will all exist within the production. The costumes and sets will contain elements of the past, present and future, and one of Kelly’s inspirations — a snake eating its tail — will figure prominently in the design.

“It’s immersive and exciting,” says Kelly. “There will be four different locations where action will take place. The audience won’t have to move, but they will have to turn. There will be fights choreographed all over the park, and the audience will feel very much a part of the action.”

In 2016, Shakespeare on the Sound moved to charging $20 per ticket ($10 for seniors and students, and children under 12 free). Admission had previously been suggested donation only, but the organization could not sufficiently fund their productions. (However, suggested donation will still be on Tuesday and Wednesday night; admission must be purchased Thursday to Saturday night.)

With this donation plan, Shakespeare on the Sound makes a commitment to high quality professional theater that continues to be accessible to the public. “Theater has value,” says Kelly, “Eliminating arts funding affects the community. Shakespeare wrote for the people, and we continue to make that commitment, because the arts are about understanding humanity.”

The show will run from June 15 to July 3, Tuesday  to Sunday at 7:30 p.m.  The park opens at 4 p.m. for blanket setting. There is a 30-minute children's version of the show performed Tuesday to Sunday at 6:30 p.m.

Thursday to Sunday is $20 adults, $10 students and seniors, and children under 12 are free.  Reserved seats are available for purchase, and all tickets can be purchased on Shakespeare on the Sound’s website www.shakespeareonthesound.org.

The organization also hosts several other programs. There are camps for children ages 9-14, June 19 to 25 from 10 to 4 p.m. and June 26 to 30 for children ages 6 to 9; Two options are available: Morning session meets 9 to 12 and afternoon session 1 to 4.  Camp details are available online.

Shakesbeer is a fundraising party on June 3 in Pinkney Park, with tickets available online.