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Greater Hartford Shakespeare Festival Returns with ‘The Tragedy of Macbeth’

Laura Sheehan, Tim Diebolt, and Kiera Sheehan in Macbeth. Photo Credit: Steven Laschever

Capital Classics Theatre Company’s performances of Macbeth will be held at the University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford on Thursday through Sunday, from July 13-30. 

By Bridget Bronsdon 

Nestled in a courtyard of the campus of the University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford, the Capital Classics Theatre Company presents the Tragedy of Macbeth for the Greater Hartford Shakespeare Festival, Connecticut’s oldest continuously running outdoor Shakespeare festival. 

Set outside under the sinking July sun, the Shakespearean classic is artistically presented on an outdoor stage, with a plan in place to relocate indoors – even mid-show – if inclement weather arises.

For the premiere Thursday, however, audience members set up lawn chairs outdoors, enjoyed chilled beverages, and watched intently as the campus was transformed into a colorful array of theatrical scenery. 

Many audience members arranged charcuterie boards on picnic blankets, cozied up with loved ones, and shared refreshments to soak in a summer evening of classic theater.

Capital Classics Theatre Company preforming the Tragedy of Macbeth. Photo Credit: Bridget Bronsdon

While the performers and audience members alike were graced by a delightful summer night breeze, the production value of the performance was not overlooked. A live musician accompanied the 25-scene play and the company featured 23 roles and 18 production staff members, a true testament to the value and exceptional caliber of the production. 

The talent onstage is chock-full of suspenseful scenes, animated dialogue, and impassioned action to bring to life one of Shakespeare’s most well-known tragedies. 

A splattering of newcomers and company veterans graced the stage to cultivate a riveting atmosphere while laughs and applause were shared throughout the audience.

The production was in good hands with Director Geoffrey Sheehan, who has directed seven performances thus far, and Dramaturg, Milla Cozart Riggio, Ph.D., a 46-year Shakespeare Professor at Trinity College and Ph.D. recipient from Harvard University.

Laura Sheehan and Sam Lundstrom preforming in Macbeth. Photo Credit: Steven Laschever

The talent onstage features Megan Gywn, a four-year veteran with the Capital Classics, as Macbeth, Kiera Sheehan as Lady Macbeth, and other highly-experienced actors decorated with accolades. 

None of this would be possible without the Capital Classics Theater Company, a family-oriented establishment aimed at “serving the community through cultural and artistic programs, specific in their intent to inspire, teach, and entertain.” 

“I have been very grateful to William Shakespeare for this guidance and permission in the realm of creating theater with a purpose,” Sheehan remarked in his Director’s note. 

Shakespearean buffs and theater-goers alike will be sure to enjoy a festive and animated evening full of theatrics. 

The Greater Hartford Shakespeare Festival has been held at USJ since 2002 and is aiming to welcome the largest crowds this year.

The performances run from July 13-30. Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, and have a 5:30 p.m. start on Sunday evenings. Tickets can be purchased here.

Joshua Eaddy and Jack Robert Harding in The Tragedy of Macbeth. Photo Credit: Steven Laschever

Megan Gwyn and Laura Sheehan preforming in The Tragedy of Macbeth. Photo Credit: Steven Laschever

West Hartford locals watching The Tragedy of Macbeth at the University of Saint Joseph. Photo Credit: Bridget Bronsdon

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Bridget Bronsdon

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