Dumoulin and Meyer steal the show in EWU’s ‘Macbeth’


By Galen Rock, Sports Editor


In a play that features death, witchcraft and betrayal, you would think it would be hard for the performers to rise above the script. But that is exactly what happened in the EWU Theatre Program’s rendition of Shakespeare’s “Macbeth.”

A play most well-known for the superstitions surrounding it, “Macbeth” takes the audience through a tragedy with twists and turns at every spot. I had only heard about the curses and odd occurrences surrounding the play, but I had not known much about the play itself.

Macbeth, portrayed masterfully by theater major Teko Dumoulin, is a general in King Duncan’s Scottish army. Duncan, played by retired theater professor Gene Engene, hears the news that his generals, Macbeth and Banquo, have defeated two separate invading armies, one from Ireland and one from Norway.

Following their pitched battle with the enemy forces, Macbeth and Banquo encounter the witches as they travel. The witches prophesy that Macbeth will be made Thane [a rank of Scottish nobility] of Cawdor and eventually King of Scotland. They also prophesy that Macbeth’s companion, Banquo, portrayed by theater major David Logghe, will beget a line of Scottish kings, although Banquo will never be king himself.

The witches vanish, and Macbeth and Banquo treat their prophecies skeptically until some of King Duncan’s men come to thank the two generals for their victories in battle and to tell Macbeth that he has indeed been named Thane of Cawdor. Macbeth is intrigued by the possibility that the remainder of the witches’ prophecy — that he will be crowned king — might be true, but he is uncertain about what to expect.

I won’t spoil too much of the play for those who still want to attend one of the two remaining shows on March 14 and 15. But in short, betrayal, murder and treachery ensue in a two-hour whirlwind.

The show was stolen, however, by the performances of Dumoulin and theater major Nichole Meyer, whose portrayal of Lady Macbeth is simply breathtaking. In some of the most thoughtful and passionate soliloquies I’ve seen, Meyer is able to simultaneously convey an air of insanity and fervor the audience can immediately connect with. In multiple scenes, you could see tears gather in the eyes of Meyer, only to see them slide gracefully down her cheeks as if she was in total control of them the entire time.

The chemistry between Dumoulin and Meyer was so palpable, it made me want to see more and more of them on stage together.

“He’s actually my boyfriend,” Meyer said in a not-so-shocking revelation. “It was really easy [to show the chemistry.] We didn’t really need to do a lot of extra practice to focus on building chemistry together. It was already there. We’d been dating for months.”

Dumoulin’s portrayal was just as effective. At times I was taken aback at the ease in which he delivered Shakespeare’s notoriously complex dialogue.

“I love Shakespeare. The only time I really audition for plays is just for Shakespeare,” said Dumoulin. “I love the complexity of the language. It’s difficult when you first get into it. But as you get used to it and get more skilled with the language, it gets easier to go out there and just let yourself flow through it.”

This harmony was the undercurrent to even more dazzling performances throughout the show. Theater major Jaclyn Archer’s performance as Witch One became one of the show’s many bright spots. The evil and psychotic look in Archer’s eyes during the majority of the performance is reminiscent of Toni Morrison’s famed novel turned movie, “Beloved.”

Theater major Chris Hansen’s execution of Macduff, a Scottish nobleman who opposed Macbeth’s succession to the throne, was also nearly flawless. But it is not his performance he is most proud of, but the prosthetic head he created. The head, which belongs to Macbeth and is used in a beheading scene is an actual cast of Dumoulin’s head, and took countless hours to make.

“It’s made of a Styrofoam wig head with silicone and latex. I had to sculpt the ears and things. Then I had to get the right paint color,” said Hansen who is looking to break into special effects makeup. “There is a lot of zombie stuff in my portfolio.”

With only two more showings, I would recommend students find a way to catch this play. Come for Hansen’s gory, severed head and stay for the inspiring performances of your peers.