Rock amphitheater’s location creates atmosphere for Macbeth

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    By Kelli Urry

    Lady Macbeth kneels on the rock stage of the Castle Amphitheater, proclaiming her devious plans to help Macbeth succeed to the Scottish throne.

    The Castle Amphitheater, located east of the State Hospital in Provo, provides a scenic atmosphere for the Utah Actors? Repertory Theatre Ensemble?s production of Shakespeare?s ?Macbeth.?

    ?It?s such a beautiful place, secluded in the mountains,? said Christy Gordon, a sophomore from Orem, who plays Lady Macbeth. ?The audience can watch the sunset and see deer walking around.?

    ?It?s the best place to do Shakespeare because it looks like a castle,? said Production Manager Melanie Ahlborn.

    Built during the Depression from 1936 to 1937, the theater is made of stone and features three turrets. It is now listed as a Utah xxxhistoric site.xxx

    ?It was built as part of the Works Progress Administration,? Ahlborn said. ?They were building a recreation facility for the state hospital and this was the only part they finished before World War II.?

    Several audience members said they like watching performances in the rock theater.

    ?The theater creates a great ambiance that just pulls you into the production,? said Mark Wilson, a junior from Cheyenne, Wyo., who attended the play last Thursday.

    In addition to the audience, actors said they enjoy performing in the intimate environment of the theater as well.

    ?In a way it?s more stripped of a commercial presence and the exchange is solely between the audience and actors,? said Trevor Banks, a senior from Highland, who plays Porter. ?It?s very rare that you get an outdoor theater and an environment that?s not established as a theatre. It?s nice that you have more freedom.?

    ?Macbeth? runs Thursday through Saturday until Sept. 17. The amphitheater is located at 1300 East Center St.

    Tickets are available at the door and cost $9 for adults, $7 for students and seniors and $5 for children. Only cash or checks are accepted. It is recommended that audience members bring blankets or chairs to sit on during the performance.

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