Glowacki is Edwin Booth and Marcee Doherty-Elst is Mrs.
Bowers in Theater RED’s “Seeds of Banquo.”
ST. FRANCIS -
Angela Iannone, widely revered as actor and director, now has
added playwright to her list of impressive accomplishments. Her
love and admiration for the late Edwin Booth (1833-1893),
sometimes called the greatest Shakespearian actor in America, has
prompted her to write a cycle of plays around his life and
of Banquo,” the fourth play of the series, is gracing the stage
at the Soulstice Theatre in St. Francis. Theater RED is sponsoring
this fascinating and sterling production.
The play is
set in Booth’s theater in New York, one he founded in 1869.
Booth and one of his actor compatriots are rehearsing “Macbeth.”
During the rehearsal, we become privy to his philosophy of acting,
his relationship with his friend Lawrence Barrett who is set to
play Banquo, his colossal ego, his personal life, and his
incredible acting talents, via the intensity and grandeur of John
Mundschau Glowacki. He is a force to be reckoned with, and this
role taps into the depth of his gifts.
from a family of actors. His
two brothers, one of whom was the man who killed President Abraham
Lincoln, were also actors, but they never reached the heights of
success that Edwin did. His career was temporarily sullied after
his brother, John Wilkes Booth, committed that horrendous act, but
he soon recovered from that stigma and unfortunate association.
In the process
of watching the rehearsal, we also meet his upcoming partner, Lady
Macbeth, grandly played by Marcie Doherty-Elst; another aspiring
actor, Mr. Owen Fawcett, his many minor roles rendered very
convincingly by Bryan Quinn; and a young ambitious, ingŽnue, Miss
Minna Gale, refreshingly performed by the lovely Sasha Katharine
There is a
rivalry between Booth and Barrett, a competitive edge and a
palpable envy between them. Booth has always wanted to sire a son
but has been unsuccessful thus far whereas Barrett, though not as
successful as an actor, seems to be on the way to success in his
progeny efforts. There is also some mutual admiration going on
a meticulous perfectionist as an actor, Booth offered new insights
into the interpretation of Shakespeare’s characters. Some
critics were not happy with the changes he espoused and the more
naturalistic style he conveyed, but his influence was widespread.
alternates with quotations from Shakespeare’s plays and the
lines Iannone created for these actors. The boundaries between the
actors’ professional and personal lives are blurred, making one
wonder how an actor can ever separate the two.
actors are more than up to the task of re-creating the
playwright’s dream of resurrecting her idol, Booth, for all of
us to enjoy and marvel at. If you’re up for a mesmerizing
display of talent and some engaging history, put “Seeds of
Banquo” on your must-see calendar.