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Widener's FreshBaked Theatre Company Presents Spooky Fun for Young Audiences with Macbeth

macbeth actors

Pictured from left to right are Widener students Luis Aguilar, Elizabeth Yenser and Erika Sprague as "the Witches."

Widener University’s FreshBaked Theatre Company will present Shakespeare’s Macbeth on two consecutive Sundays, Nov. 6 and Nov. 13, at 2 p.m. Matinees for local schools and homeschooling families take place on Monday, Nov. 7 at 1 p.m. and Wednesday, Nov. 9 at 10 a.m. Reservations are required for these two performances. All performances will take place in Alumni Auditorium, located on Widener University’s Main Campus in Chester, Pa.

Adapted for young audiences ages 7 and older, FreshBaked Theatre Company’s performance of Macbeth runs 60 minutes and concludes with a brief Q & A session with the actors.

Admission to all performances of Macbeth is by free will cash donation, with all funds benefiting community aid organizations in Chester. The suggested donation is $2 per person. For reservations or more information, please e-mail director Lisa Eckley Cocchiarale at ljcocchiarale@widener.edu.

Macbeth tells William Shakespeare's harrowing story of the ambitious Macbeth and Lady Macbeth as they acquire the crown of Scotland through devious means. The themes of greed and ambition are emphasized, and comic relief is provided throughout the story. The “Weird Sisters” (the Witches) provide spooky fun and make Shakespeare's story fully accessible to young audiences. Audience participation is part of the show; children are asked to provide sound effects and become part of the scenery.

Adapted by Gillette Elvgren, the story leaves many passages of the original text intact and provides an excellent and exciting introduction to Shakespeare’s work. The story is set in London 1940, and in a nod to Shakespeare’s beloved Rustics, a bickering troupe of players visits a rundown grammar school to bring cheer to war-weary audiences. Interrupted by an air raid warning, the troupe rallies the audience to “Chin Up!” and the show goes on. The play is presented by special arrangement with Blue Moon Plays.

Macbeth is directed by Lisa Eckley Cocchiarale. The cast features Widener University students Luis Aguilar, Carolyn Lodge, Tyler Palma, Kirk Reichart, Erika Sprague and Elizabeth Yenser. Technical assistance is provided by Daniel Castagna.

FreshBaked Theatre Company’s mission is to present “inventive drama for young audiences . . . and the adults who nurture them.” Since 2003, more than 20 productions have been shared with Chester schools and families, with 100 percent of cash donations benefiting local food banks and other aid organizations. Recent productions include The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, A Murder of Crows, Romeo and Juliet and The Odyssey.

Widener University is a private, metropolitan university that connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention, leadership development and experiential learning are key components of the Widener experience. A comprehensive doctorate-granting university, Widener comprises eight schools and colleges that offer liberal arts and sciences, professional and pre-professional curricula leading to associate, baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degrees. The university’s campuses are in Chester and Harrisburg, Pa., and Wilmington, Del. Visit the university website, www.widener.edu.