Lindsay Bellaire, and Phillip Psutka, the creative couple heading up Theatre Arcturus, have conjured up a new take on Shakespeare’s three iconic witches in their upcoming production of ‘Weird’.
“Weird is Macbeth from the witches’ perspective.”
On their way to Lindsay’s Nuit Blanche performance of Cascade, I managed a quick chat with the dynamic duo. Incorporating the witches’ scenes from Macbeth, Arcturus has added new scenes, using Shakespeare’s text as well as original dialogue, showing the audience what the witches get up to throughout the rest of the Macbeth story.
“Everything for us is from the text first, and then the silks are used to enhance the story; the silks are used anytime the witches use a charm”
The three weird sisters find themselves in a world of toil and trouble when they decide to take the natural order into their own hands, forsaking Hecate’s authority over them, and trusting a touch of fate in Macbeth, Shakespeare’s famous fiend of ambition. Accepting their grievous error, the sisters must work together to restore order to the natural world to avoid their own torture in the supernatural.
“It is the sisters’ job to keep the natural order in balance. They make a big mistake by choosing Macbeth and influencing his steps. They’re going behind Hecate’s back. and they’ve throw nature completely out of whack. Now they have to fight extra hard to fix it. That’s what weird is all about: It’s about them making the mistake, and what they go through to fix it. “
Windsor graduate and dancer, Lindsay Sippel Eitzen, plays the younger of the three. This meerkat of the crew “naturally has that energy and spark of being attentive and excited about a new experience”.
Lindsay Bellaire, the aerialist of the trio, takes to the silks with ferocity and fluidity as the ambitious middle sister.
Lastly, with her grounded, still, and owl-like energy, Polly Phokeev, certified intermediate actor combatant with Fight Directors Canada, takes on the role of the wearied older sister.
Having such a combination of physical performers is key for this oddity of theatre, arriving just in time for Halloween; a perfect date show for horror buffs and Shakespeare scholars alike. Keeping the physical aspect of the show in direct and fluid relationship with the text allows for the audience to be completely immersed in the story without the need to reset one’s suspension of disbelief each time a performer takes to the sky. Though this achievement of magically meshed physical theatre didn’t come seamlessly:
“I’ve had to be pulled back a bit.I have to remember that it’s adding elements to the story as opposed to being the focus, and it’s not about the most impressive stuff. It’s better to use something simple and connected to the text.” ~ Lindsay Bellaire
“The story has all the supernatural elements, and it’s a very straightforward way for the audience to buy in and accept using silks with the text to continue the story as opposed to being in a situation where it could possibly feel a bit contrived.” ~ Phillip Psutka
Rain or shine, Theatre Arcturus has been battling the elements, setting up their portable aerial rig, and building this magical mystery tour of tricks and treats for all ages of all walks to enjoy. ‘Weird’ will be performed at the Ernest Balmer Studio in the Distillery District, October 17-19, and for those of you 19+, show your ticket, the day of the show, at the Mill St. Brew Pub or Beer Hall, and receive 15% off all food! A great incentive for date night, or even for mom and dad to introduce the kids to Shakespeare, while getting a deal on your meal.
* Upcoming with Theatre Arcturus look out for their live concert performance with musician Al Lukas as he shares his experiences of his cross country tour, living out of a van, playing for keeps.
“This is just the beginning.” ~ Lindsay Bellaire