Lady M

World Premiere Philadelphia Live Arts Festival 2011

Enter the mind of Lady Macbeth. With the help of a chorus of witches, Lady M re-tells the story of her life in Shakespeare’s darkest tragedy. Killing the king. The ghost at the table. The frenzied dances of the witches. Out damn spot. A battle is waged against Lady Macbeth's fate as she cycles the story around in a nightmare of bloodshed superimposed onto a background of vocal chaos.


Lady M highlights its demented anti-heroine, played by Barrymore Award winner Catharine Slusar, by heightening the text of Macbeth with voice and movement that is equally extreme. Using Roy Hart voice technique as a means to unlock a more powerful and muscular vocal treatment of Shakespeare's text, this all-female ensemble explores what might happen if Lady Macbeth summoned Shakespeare’s witches - expanded to a coven of ten - for her own purposes. When called upon, the witches act out the play’s various roles, form moveable sets out of their bodies, and intone layered beds of sound to create a startling sonic backdrop. Like a hive of bees, they alternately serve and overtake their queen.


Conceived and Directed by Adrienne Mackey

Featuring Catharine Slusar as Lady M

Along with Mary Lee Bednarek, Kate Black-Regan, Amanda Damron, Karen Getz, Colleen Hughes, Kelly Jennings, Jamie McKittrick, Catherine Palfinier, Wendy Staton, Anna Watson, Charlotte Northeast


Movement by Jamie McKittrick

Writing by Lauren Feldman


Set Design Lisi Stoessel
Lighting Design Maria Shaplin
Sound Design Daniel Perelstein
Costume Design Alisa Sickora Kleckner


With funding support from:
The Wyncote Foundation, The Charlotte Cushman Foundation, Philadelphia Cultural Fund, The Anna Sosenko Assist Trust, Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts, The Live Arts Brewery Fellowship


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“The script is sharp as nails, the dramatic vocalizations (director Adrienne Mackey’s speciality) are spine-tingling, and the performance of Catharine Slusar in the title role is just plain stunning.”
- Victor Fiorillo, Philadelphia Magazine


“Shakespeare reduced, simmered, teased and troubled into a peppery, satisfyingly complex dream-theater stew”
- K. Ross Hoffman, Philadelphia Citypaper


“Slusar’s portrayal is remarkable – smart in her interpretation, sharp with her movement and evocative delivery”
- Howard Shaprio, Philadelphia Inquirer