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Ferrum College News

Ferrum College Theatre Arts Perform Macbeth

From February 23-25, under the Ferrum College School of Arts and Humanities, the Blue Ridge Dinner Theatre and Ferrum College Theatre Arts performed William Shakespeare’s tragedy Macbeth.

The play Macbeth is the story of a renowned general who is told by three witches that he will one day become the King of Scotland. Pressured by his wife, Macbeth murders the king and seizes the throne. Plagued by guilt and fear, Macbeth goes on to commit more murders to safeguard his position. As a result, civil unrest breaks out, leading to more bloodshed, and, ultimately, the overthrow of Macbeth.

Ferrum College senior TJ Baker played the titular character Macbeth. For her, it’s been a different type of role. “It’s been unlike any other theatre experience I’ve had so far. Shakespeare is a different sort of breed, and it’s an extra challenge of a show, but it’s so rewarding and so fun. Once you get it, it becomes a lot easier, but it’s a steep learning curve,” Baker said.

For Baker, Macbeth is an interesting character to play. “He goes crazy and mad, and it’s difficult to act because it’s hard to make it seem genuine. It’s been an interesting journey with the directors to learn how to portray that in a very honest way without actually going crazy myself,” Baker explained.

Macbeth is Baker’s second lead role at the College. “I’ve played a wide variety of characters while at Ferrum. This is my second lead role. A lot of the other characters I’ve played have been very comedy based, fun characters or real people. Macbeth is very fancy and extra because it’s Shakespeare. This is also the first villain I’ve ever played which is also new for me,” Baker shared.

Junior Gage Shelton portrayed Macduff in the play, and this type of character has been difficult for him as well. “This is the first production I’ve done where it’s a more dramatic role, and it’s not as comedic. It’s been a challenge, but I’ve gotten a lot of support. I feel very comfortable playing this role, and it’s been an amazing experience,” Shelton said.

Like Baker, Shelton has played a wide variety of characters during his time at Ferrum, yet his role as Macduff was challenging in new ways. “There’s a scene where Macduff has to convey emotion from learning that his family has died. That’s very different from playing a twisty mustache villain tying a damsel in distress to train tracks or a talking bullfrog. It’s a very different experience of learning how to act dramatically as opposed to being goofy and being comedic onstage. It’s much easier to get people to laugh. It’s been a challenge, but it’s been fun,” Shelton shared.

The Blue Ridge Dinner Theatre and Ferrum College Theatre Arts will present their next production “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” from April 11 to April 14. For all Ferrum College Performing Arts and ticket information visit: