ATLANTA, GA – Art Beats Atlanta, a co-op of Atlanta-based arts and culture organizations, has launched ArtBeatsATL.com, a free online portal where people sheltering at home can find and engage with virtual events and digital content created by arts organizations throughout the greater-Atlanta area. The website showcases weekly virtual events, information, and digital content for theatre and spoken word, dance and movement, music, visual arts, film and classes. The site will be live beginning Wednesday, May 20, 2020. More info can be found at ArtBeatsATL.com.
Even though the immediate intention is to provide a space to share online arts programming during the COVID-19 pandemic, the long-term goal is to continue to build Art Beats Atlanta into a platform where Atlanta’s arts organizations can promote their work through June 2021, and to ultimately become a permanent resource for the greater Atlanta-area. The goal is also to inspire people to learn more about the arts community, and how they can become more engaged.
“This idea is rooted in a couple of beliefs,” says Rachel May, Producing Artistic Director of Synchronicity Theatre, and one of the founding members of Art Beats Atlanta. “First, people need entertainment, amusement and engagement for their emotional well-being. Since this is our business, the arts community has the innate ability to serve this need. Second, having one place where people can find high-quality digital content that can be enjoyed while they are sheltering-in-place, will keep people engaged in the arts, and bring them back to us when restrictions are lifted.”
“The excitement and buy-in of supporters and board members was an early indicator of the appetite for a site that will bring together virtual arts offerings throughout Atlanta,” says Gretchen Butler, Managing Director of Theatrical Outfit. “We were thrilled to have two donors step up immediately to cover the costs of the design and launch, allowing us to offer arts organizations the opportunity to participate at no cost to them at this time.”
So far, over 50 organizations have begun listing virtual events. To become a member organization or to submit events or content, please visit ArtBeatsATL.com. There is currently no membership fee to join. The public can access ArtBeatsATL.com at no charge.
ABOUT ART BEATS ATLANTA
Art Beats Atlanta (Art Beats) is a co-op of Atlanta-area arts and culture organizations with a mission to increase engagement between the public and the vibrant professional arts community of the greater Atlanta area. Originally created at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic as a space to share innovative online arts programming, the long-term goal is to continue to build Art Beats into a platform promoting Atlanta’s vibrant arts ecology.
“I feel free. I am me. Nobody has the ability to take over me. In here people can be whoever they want to be.”- Khaty, Playmaking for Girls Participant
Now in its 17th year, Playmaking for Girls has impacted thousands of Atlanta’s most vulnerable populations. This theatre outreach program helps girls living in group homes and refugee communities “find their voices” as artists and creators. Playmaking for Girls is especially vital for these young women as the COVID-19 pandemic affects their lives.
With a generous 1:1 match challenge from a community donor, you can help us reach our $10,000 goal! If we raise $5,000, they match $5,000. All funds directly benefit PFG.
As of June 12, 2020, we have funded this challenge and now have raised $10,511!
YOUR GIFT MAKES AN IMPACT!
Playmaking for Girls annually impacts over one thousand people in our community, including:
- 400 girls living in group homes or refugee communities participate, at no cost, in the Playmaking for Girls program.
- 17 professional teachers work with participants throughout the year.
- 5 to 10 student interns assist with the program each semester.
- 800 community members and patrons support these young women by attending PFG performances.
“… the young actors relate to characters they created and, for the first time, maybe, have a model for working out problems before they’re really facing them. This group of girls used to expecting little and getting less quickly warms to a room full of women who won’t give up on them. ”
– Jamie Gumbrecht, Atlanta Journal-Constitution Reporter
“Playmaking for Girls affirms every ounce of [the girls] beings through their loving, unconditional care and belief in these girls.”
-Inspire Shalom, Playmaking for Girls Community Partner
SCALE at Synchronicity
This year Agnes Scott College launched the Sophomore Class Atlanta Leadership Experience (SCALE), a week-long program to give students professional experience in Atlanta-based organizations. We spent three days in the classroom preparing to visit our site, and four days of immersive learning at the site. Groups of students went to 22 different locations, and our team of eight spent a week at Synchronicity Theatre. We observed and engaged with the theatre in two groups, Arts Administration (Leandra Colley, Amelia Handly, Ryan Hayes-Owens, and Jacqueline Yarbough) and Arts Journalism (Journey Bradham, Lydia Cash, Maddy Franklin, and Camryn King). While at Synchronicity, we worked closely with the team of leaders here to get a sense of how theatre and non-profit organizations operate as well as the unique challenges Synchronicity faces in their mission to uplift the voices of women and girls. As the Arts Journalism group, we want to share a few of the core themes and experiences that have shaped our time here.
Women in Leadership
During our time at Synchronicity, we had the opportunity to talk extensively within our groups and with the amazing women who work at Synchronicity about women in leadership. A core theme that our group continued to return to was the notion of taking up space– which can mean finding self-actualization and self-respect within the workplace as well as one’s personal life. Within this notion of taking up space, we also discussed what carving out space for others can look like. Synchronicity, through their focus on women’s and girls’ voices, have made it their mission to give space to underserved communities and unheard voices. They implement a leadership style that allows for communal leadership, giving respect to everyone in the room. This respect for others is also manifested in the ways in which they conduct performances, with having 85% of their shows written by women playwrights. It was inspiring to see women leaders in the writing field and also in the world of arts administration, marketing and design.
Arts Journalism Journey
Our group, dramatic criticism, has come from a variety of majors from International Relations to English Literature. None of us had much experience writing reviews of theatre, or anything like reviews, outside of analytical essays for class. We knew we had to collaborate and work together while also fine-tuning our own reviewing and journalistic skills, and in order to do so, we needed to learn from the best and actually watch a play in real time.
In this week for SCALE, our group watched Wayfinding and were given guidance before and after watching the play on how to write a theatre review. We Skyped with Kelundra Smith, an arts journalist who has worked in arts administration and marketing, and who now writes and edits for the GSU Law Newspaper. We learned how to form a review to both inform audiences while also providing our own analyses. When we watched Wayfinding later that evening, we made sure to take notes in order to fully be able to write the most well constructed review that we could, especially since this was our first time trying to actually write arts journalism.
The next day, we worked and wrote for a couple of hours on constructing our review based on Kelundra’s instruction, and we then met with Synchronicity’s own Celise Kalke to go over first drafts. We each had an individual meeting with Celise where we discussed our writing and changes we could make to be clearer and more concise. Both after the meetings and at Agnes Scott after returning from SCALE, we worked on making a final draft that we could present to our peers and the folks at Synchronicity.
Why did we choose Synchronicity? – Maddy
For everyone in the group, choosing Synchronicity as their desired place to spend the week was a no-brainer. Many of us are interested in pursuing a career in the arts and felt that being here would provide a unique window into a section of that world, one that couldn’t be found anywhere else. We all connected with Synchronicity’s mission of empowering and uplifting the voices of women and girls and felt that transitioning from Agnes Scott’s world to Synchronicity was incredibly easy, given the diverse and supportive nature that’s been cultivated. Once we arrived, it became clear that Synchronicity is committed to giving a platform to emerging artists and that we’d always have a place to turn to if ever a chance to jumpstart a career in theatre were to arise. Over this past week, all of us have had the opportunity to learn about a side of theatre that we’ve never explored before and we couldn’t have asked for a better place to do that than Synchronicity! Thank you to the team, especially Rachel, Celise, Dalyla, and Sarah, for allowing us in!
Synchronicity Theatre has launched Playmaking for Kids online!
For anyone with kids at home – there are great options for you for one-on-one sessions, fun group sessions for your child and friends, and daily free activities.
5 Ways to Play
Our weekly printable gives you an activity each day to do with your child.
Daily live-stream demonstrations – Mon, Wed & Fri at 10:30am, Tues, Thurs at 3:30pm.
Solo & Group Playmaking classes, age 6-12
Join one of our Playmaking for Kids instructors for a virtual playmaking date, featuring drama games and activities!
Group classes: Up to 6 children (minimum 4) – $60
11 AM and 2 PM daily, 45 minute class
Solo classes: Up to 2 children in one household – $35
1 PM and 4 PM daily, 45 minute class
Playmaking for Toddler classes, age 3-5 – $15/child
Up to 10 children (with parents), minimum 3
Gather a group of up to 6 toddlers for an engaged, fun learning experience. Our instructors will incorporate creative movement and music to introduce the concept of storytelling to your young learners.
Tues and Thurs at 10 AM, 30 minute class
To Our Local Theatre Fans, Friends, and Family:
Right now is an unprecedented time for our community, and the local theatre community will likely be hit especially hard. COVID-19 has caused a great deal of change, and we are all facing a tremendous amount of uncertainty. Currently, our leaders are making the hard but necessary choice to ban mass gatherings of people, and nobody is sure how long this may go on for. This directly affects theatres, as we will most likely be unable to host shows and sell tickets for an extended period of time. Theatres are facing a major loss in revenue because of this. In addition to the impact on our organizations, the performers, artisans, and administrative staff of local theatres are also likely to have personal financial struggles through the coming weeks.
We are coming to you now to ask for your continued support of local theatre, even as we temporarily shutter our doors. There are three easy ways you can help support us through these uncertain times: make a donation, buy a gift certificate, and talk to your legislators.
–Make a donation. All of the theatres listed in this letter are nonprofit organizations. That means that we re-invest any profits we make back into our mission, rather than paying shareholders. As nonprofit organizations, it also means we can accept tax-deductible donations! This is by far the best thing you can do right now to support your local theatres. A pledge for monthly support is also a wonderful way to provide sustained support as we work to recover in the coming months. Finally, if you bought a ticket to a show that gets cancelled, consider turning the cost of that ticket into a donation, rather than asking for a refund.
–Buy a gift certificate. Many local theatres have the ability to issue gift certificates that patrons can use for future shows. Please check with the theatres you frequent, and inquire if they can sell a gift certificate. Treat your future self to a night of entertainment, and once life returns to normal we look forward to welcoming you into our theatres!
-Talk to your legislators. In the coming weeks there will likely be bills put forth on the state and national levels for economic relief for those affected by COVID-19. Please reach out to your legislators and let them know that nonprofit arts organizations and artists should be included in these relief packages.
We can make it through this together, but local theatres need your support to help weather this storm. Even once COVID-19 passes, theatres will still be facing financial gaps and tight budgets, and will likely be asking for your donation to offset our losses. Please have patience with us. We are all dedicated to bringing you amazing theatrical experiences
We look forward to seeing you once again at our theatres. Until then, stay safe and healthy.
This too shall pass.
Atlanta Lyric Theatre
Center for Puppetry Arts
City Springs Theatre
Dad’s Garage Theatre
Georgia Ensemble Theatre
Horizon Theatre Company
Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre
Out Front Theatre Company
Stage Door Players
Theatre du Reve
UPDATE: AUGUST 31, 2020: COVID-19 SAFETY INFORMATION REGARDING 2020 – 2021 SEASON
Synchronicity and COVID-19
Synchronicity Theatre is part of a task force for re-opening arts venues partnering with the Emory University Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, and will be implementing safety protocols based on their detailed recommendations.
We are also meeting bi-weekly with arts leaders across the metro area and across the country, to share up-to-date data and re-opening ideas. Synchronicity staff uses the ‘testing positivity’ number from the Department of Public Health to guide weekly benchmarking meetings. Synchronicity will have live performances only after a minimum of one week with Georgia’s positivity rate at 8% or lower.
The staff and Board of Directors are currently finalizing the plans to create safer spaces for audiences, artists, and staff. These include:
- Required masks for audiences and all staff;
- Regular COVID-19 testing and daily safety screening of a range of symptoms for artists and front of house staff;
- New cleaning procedures including sanitizer stations and shields for box office counters;
- Reduced overall seating capacity, detailed new physically-distanced and timed seating procedures and maps, and streamlined entrances and exits to reduce contact;
- Venue improvements that will increase exterior air-intake, and the addition of HEPA filtration for higher air exchange rates.
We look forward to ‘seeing’ you On the Screen throughout the whole season, and ‘In the Theatre’ whenever possible.
UPDATE MAY 18, 2020: THE BLUEST EYE RESCHEDULED TO JUNE 2021
Due to evolving public health risks related to COVID-19 and out of concern for the well-being of our actors, crew, staff, and audience members, we have rescheduled Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye to June 2021. The show will now run from June 3 to June 27, 2021.
If you have tickets to The Bluest Eye, you can exchange your tickets to the new dates in June 2021, or refund them to the original payment method.
If you can no longer attend this show, please consider donating your ticket. You don’t have to do anything. Just sit back, and enjoy knowing that your money will help Synchronicity Theatre during this unexpected time. Please contact the box office at 404.484.8636 or email email@example.com with inquiries.
2019-2020 Subscribers with either a 10-Ticket Flex Pass or Bold Voices Pass will receive two complimentary tickets for any Synchronicity Theatre Mainstage show during our 2020-2021 season. For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For any inquiries, please contact the box office at 404.484.8636. or email email@example.com.
UPDATE MARCH 16, 2020: SYNCHRONICITY THEATRE MARCH AND APRIL PERFORMANCES CANCELLED OR POSTPONED DUE TO COVID-19
Due to evolving public health risks related to COVID-19, also known as coronavirus, and out of concern for the well-being of our actors, crew, staff, and audience members, we are cancelling performances of Wayfinding. Our Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds Tour will be postponed as well as our 2020 Women in the Arts and Business Luncheon. New dates for those events will be announced soon.
- If you have tickets to Wayfinding, please consider donating your ticket. You don’t have to do anything. Just sit back, and enjoy knowing that your money will help Synchronicity Theatre during this unexpected time. Tickets can be exchanged for an upcoming performance or refunded to the original payment method. Please contact the box office at 404.484.8636 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with inquiries.
- Tickets for Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds will be refunded to the original payment method. Please look out for an announcement regarding rescheduled dates.
- Tickets for the 2020 Women in the Arts and Business Luncheon will be honored for the rescheduled date, to be announced soon.
For any inquiries, please contact the box office at 404.484.8636. or email email@example.com.
We want everyone to be as safe as possible, and it has been recommended by the CDC that we suspend all public events over 50 people to lessen the risk of exposure. Please keep monitoring our website and social media accounts, and be on the look out for email updates. Safeguard yourself and your loved ones, and thank you for being a part of the Synchronicity Theatre community.
MARCH 11, 2020: We care about your well-being, and that’s why we’re writing to let you know that Synchronicity Theatre is closely following updates related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
At present, all performances and events are taking place as scheduled, and all standard ticketing policies are in effect. Tickets can be exchanged for upcoming performances. Our theatre is thoroughly cleaned after each performance, and our staff is presently undertaking additional cleaning and safety measures, including frequent hand-washing.
We strongly recommend that every patron follow the preventive guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), outlined below. For the well-being of your fellow patrons, if you feel ill, please stay home.
We are following guidelines provided by the Metro Atlanta Health Department. At this time, the city has not recommended canceling public events.
If you have questions or would like to know more about how we are responding to any new developments in the outbreak, please visit our website. This page will be updated regularly. And if you have questions, please don’t hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 404.484.8636.
The ensemble cast of Wayfinding.
I wrote the original draft of Wayfinding in the summer of 2016, when I was between my first and second years of an MFA at Carnegie Mellon. It was to be my final thesis play – a perfect little showcase of my newly polished dramatic voice. You know, no pressure. So I spent the first half of that summer hunting for ideas. I read books. I saw performances. I wandered through museums and parks and malls and airports. Lots and lots of airports. I’d been fortunate enough to be invited to several cross-country conferences and festivals that summer and, given the fact that I was a poor student artist, that meant my flights had some exceptionally long layovers.
I was on my way to Alaska, trapped in the Seattle airport for twelve hours. I couldn’t find anywhere comfortable to sleep, so I popped in my earbuds and cued up a podcast: 99% Invisible, Episode 126: “Walk This Way.” It was all about how architecture can be used as a modern wayfinding tool. Counters at an angle. Patterns in the tile. Angles in the skylights. All of it working together like an invisible hand, subtly steering people toward their destinations.
I thought this was fascinating. And since I had 11 more hours to burn, I decided to do a little experiment. I planted myself in a central space in the terminal, turned off my mind, and just let the space tell me where to go. I spent hours in this pursuit, wandering halls and weaving through crowds, usually ending up at a Starbucks or Sbarro. But the exercise became a kind of walking meditation on fate, choice, and the way our lives are constantly and invisibly shaped by the circumstances that surround us. From that concept, this play was born.
In the years since, Wayfinding has seen several huge rewrites, bringing the script to its current state: a darkly funny, full-of-heart, melancholic comedy. I sincerely hope you enjoy watching this play as much as I’ve enjoyed developing it with the brilliant artists here at Synchronicity.
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for giving life to this weird little new work.
ATLANTA, GA – With the help of a grant from The Kelin Foundation, Synchronicity Theatre and Agnes Scott College have partnered to launch a two-year pilot program that will provide opportunities for Agnes Scott students to intersect with Synchronicity Theatre and Atlanta’s theatre community. This unique pilot program will ensure a “continuum of learning” through an introduction to contemporary female playwrights and dramatic criticism, weeklong leadership development residencies in partnership with Agnes Scott’s signature SUMMIT experience, and paid “real world” internships at Synchronicity Theatre.
“Our hope is that after a successful launch,” says Synchronicity Theatre’s Producing Artistic Director Rachel May, “this pilot program will become a permanent way to develop capable, empowered leaders throughout the theatre sector. We look forward to continuing this work with the Agnes Scott community for years to come.”
“We are thrilled about this amazing partnership opportunity,” said Agnes Scott College President Leocadia I. Zak. ”We appreciate Synchronicity Theatre’s commitment to supporting our students who are interested in theatrical careers. This innovative partnership will absolutely contribute to our students’ long-term success. We’re very grateful.”
The pilot program will include the following elements:
Synchronicity will lead two workshops:
- Introduction to Current Women Writers, highlighting examples of works by current women playwrights and advocates as models of leadership.
- A “Playmaking for Girls-Style” Workshop, based on Synchronicity’s award-winning `outreach program revolving around social justice issues, where the students would write and perform plays over the course of two days.
WEEKLONG LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS AT SYNCHRONICITY THEATRE
- Synchronicity will provide two residencies as part of Agnes Scott’s Sophomore Class Atlanta Leadership Experience (SCALE):
- Project 1 – A one-week immersion experience in managing a theatre. Students will work with Synchronicity staff on projects in “real time.” This small management “boot camp,” will provide practical experience in Synchronicity’s own operations, and nonprofit administration, as a whole.
- Project 2 – In partnership with faculty from Agnes Scott’s English department and org, students will learn about dramatic literature or journalistic writing. They will also explore the art and philosophy behind “Theatre Criticism,” which will culminate in the students attending and reviewing Wayfinding, a new play by Whitney Rowland, running March 6 – 29, 2020 at Synchronicity Theatre, and writing related reviews.
For the journalistic writing project (“Project 2”), Synchronicity Theatre will partner with ArtsATL.org, the only publication in the greater metro-Atlanta area offering independent, comprehensive coverage of the arts across six areas: Art & Design, Music, Theater, Dance, Film/TV and Books. Senior editor Kathy Janich will hold a workshop with the students to discuss key elements of arts journalism, focusing on how to write an effective review, discussing various types of arts pieces (review, feature, preview, etc.), and offering guidance as they prepare to write reviews of Wayfinding, a new play by Whitney Rowland (March 6 – 29, 2020). A possible outcome is that ArtsATL.org will publish a feature about the partnership, including excerpts from the students’ own reviews.
In May of 2020, Agnes Scott students will participate in SheWRITES, Synchronicity Theatre’s new bi-annual festival for female playwrights. The students will help plan the festival, participate in selecting the plays chosen for the festival, and work as assistant stage managers, assistant dramaturgs, and possibly actors during the week of the event.
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE THROUGH FUNDED INTERNSHIPS
During the pilot period, Synchronicity Theatre will hire an Arts Administration Intern who will work on-site at Synchronicity. In the future, the goal will be to include a two-year fellow at Synchronicity as a full-time staff member after graduation.
The partnership will also include subsidized tickets for Agnes Scott students to attend each production during the year.
ABOUT SYNCHRONICITY THEATRE
Synchronicity Theatre produces smart, gutsy, bold theatre that sparks community connections, uplifts the voices of women and girls, forges long-term and effective community partnerships and develops new work. Synchronicity reaches nearly 14,000 patrons a year through its season of plays for adults (Bold Voices) and families (Family Series), community outreach, and educational programming, including Playmaking for Kids (PFK) and the award-winning Playmaking for Girls (PFG). An intimate theatre in the heart of midtown at Peachtree Pointe became Synchronicity’s home for its main stage productions in the summer of 2014. The theatre also serves as a rental venue for independent film, dance, theatre and other projects. The Company recently opened the Synchronicity Annex, a new office, class, event and rehearsal space in Piedmont Heights, Atlanta.
ABOUT AGNES SCOTT COLLEGE
Agnes Scott College educates women to think deeply, live honorably and engage the intellectual and social challenges of their times. Students are drawn to Agnes Scott by its excellent academic reputation, exceptional faculty and metropolitan Atlanta location—offering myriad social, cultural and experiential learning opportunities. This highly selective liberal arts college is known for its diverse and dynamic intellectual community. Through SUMMIT, it provides every student, regardless of major, with an individualized course of study and co-curricular experiences that develop leadership abilities and understanding of complex global dynamics.
Since 2009, ArtsATL has been the only publication in the greater metro area offering independent, comprehensive coverage of the arts across six coverage areas: Art & Design, Music, Film & TV, Theater, Dance and Books. You’ll find interviews, in-depth reviews, analysis and more in each of those areas. ArtsATL, a nonprofit, was co-founded by former Atlanta Journal-Constitution arts critics Catherine Fox and Pierre Ruhe. More info at https://www.artsatl.org/.
By Elliott Folds, Dramaturg for Mac | Beth
“A deed without a name.”
Erica Schmidt was inspired to adapt Macbeth into this new version, Mac | Beth, after hearing about the violent stabbing that occurred in the Wisconsin woods in early summer 2014. The so-called Slender Man stabbings were perpetrated by two 12-year-old girls who planned to sacrifice their friend to the Internet-based urban legend Slender Man, eventually stabbing her 19 times. The victim mercifully survived, but the incident shocked the nation. Looking deeper at the surrounding details of the case, however, it becomes apparent that instances of young girls committing violence in the woods have happened more frequently than may initially seem.
Just two years before the Slender Man stabbings, a 16-year-old girl was brutally killed by two of her friends who claimed they did it because they “didn’t want to be friends with her anymore.” This case in particular featured a somewhat infamous tweet from one of the perpetrators: “we really did go on three.” Going further back through the centuries and you’ll find similar cases, such as the Parker-Hulme murder in 1954 and the genesis of the 1692 Salem Witch Trials. In her program notes from Mac|Beth’s original off-Broadway production, dramaturg Akiva Fox wrote, “By giving audiences the unfamiliar experience of seeing young women act out a very familiar play, this production of Mac|Beth seeks to rekindle something of the original shock in the work. Just as the real-world violence carried out by these modern girls jolted observers, so this production jolts its audience by restoring the primal wildness to Shakespeare’s tragedy.”
“Fire burn, and cauldron bubble…”
Building off of Shakespeare’s original spooky tragedy, Synchronicity Theatre’s production of Erica Schmidt’s Mac|Beth is perfect October viewing. Most people know the name of the Scottish Play is cursed, but there are many dark legends that led to the creation of this specific Mac|Beth. Here are just a few of the many chills and thrills that have encircled this play for the last four centuries.
- 1606: Legend has it that Macbeth was cursed from the beginning. According to folklore, a coven of witches were wary of Shakespeare pulling from real incantations, so they placed a curse on the play. Allegedly, this resulted in Hal Berridge, the first actor to play Lady Macbeth, suddenly dying, prompting Shakespeare to step into the role.
- 1703: On December 7, 1703, a revival of the play opened at Drury Lane, the exact same day that the Great Storm of 1703 struck England, eventually leading to over 8,000 casualties.
- 1849: May 10, 1849 saw over 22 people killed in riots at the Astor Place Opera House in New York. William Charles Macready was set to star in a production of Macbeth at the Opera House, while his well-documented rival, Edwin Forrest, was scheduled to star in a different production of the play a few blocks away. The American Forrest was seen as a hero for the working class, while the British Macready was vocally supported by the upper crust. Between Forrest’s supporters, Macready’s audience members, police, and militia, as many as 10,000 people were crowded around the streets of the theater. As the riot broke out, soldiers fired into the crowd, killing up to 31 people, including many innocent bystanders.
- 1865: Macbeth was reportedly Abraham Lincoln’s favorite play, and the one he chose to bring with him onboard the River Queen on the Potomac River on April 9, 1865. He is reported to have been reading passages from after Duncan’s assassination. Within a week, he himself would be assassinated.
- 1936: After panning Orson Welles’ famous “Voodoo” Macbeth, theatre critic Percy Hammond died less than 48 hours later of pneumonia.
- 1937: A 1937 production at the Old Vic had multiple issues: the theater’s manager Lillian Baylis died of a heart attack two days before the play’s first performance. Laurence Olivier, who had wrestled with losing his voice for much of the rehearsal process, was nearly killed when a heavy weight fell mere inches away from him in the wings.
- 1988: A Broadway revival starring Christopher Plummer and Glenda Jackson supposedly went through a blizzard of replacements. Though the numbers vary depending on who you ask, allegedly, the production went through three directors, five Macduffs, six changes within the ensemble, six stage managers, two set designers, two lighting designers, and 26 cases of flu, torn ligaments, and groin injuries.
- 2012: Skylar Neese, a 16-year-old from West Virginia, was killed after being stabbed more than 50 times by two of her best friends, Rachel Shoaf and Shelia Eddy. Shoaf and Eddy claimed they did it because they “didn’t like her” and “didn’t want to be friends with her anymore,” and planned to stab her on the count of three. On April 1, 2013, Eddy tweeted the infamous “we really did go on three.”
- 2014: Payton Leutner, a 12-year-old from Wisconsin, was stabbed 19 times by two of her friends, Anissa Weier and Morgan Geyser, who claimed they planned to kill her as a sacrifice to the fictional Internet character Slender Man. Leutner successfully recovered after six days in the hospital.
- 2019: Synchronicity’s production of Mac|Beth had some creepy power surges occur right before two of the opening weekend performances. It was probably nothing. Unless…?