Delaware Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’ comes to Rockwood this week

Betsy PriceCulture, Headlines



Delaware Shakespeare returns to Rockwood Park this month with the three witches taking on a more central role than usual.

“The witches enjoy chaos as a tool for learning,” said AZ Espinoza, who returns to DelShakes to direct the Scottish play, in a press release. “They lean into the power of the natural world to seek balance and to remind us that we have more to learn from making choices than passively accepting fate.”

DelShakes’ annual productions in the back yard of the Rockwood Mansion are one of the cultural touchstones of summer in Wilmington.

“Macbeth” will be its 21st Shakespeare production under the summer stars there.

Last staged by DelShakes in 2010, “Macbeth” is the story of a triumphant general who doesn’t resist the lure of rising to king via murder.

One of Shakespeare’s most popular plays, includes many phrases that theatergoers are familiar with: “Is this a dagger which I see before me,” “double, double toil and trouble,” “Out! damn spot,” “knock, knock. Who’s there?” and “something wicked this way comes,” the latter a comment made by one of the Weird Sisters as Macbeth approaches them.


With ‘Macbeth’ opening in a week, Delaware Shakespeare already is building its stage at Rockwood Park. Photo by Delaware Shakespeare.

‘Macbeth’s’ witches

The three witches will be portrayed by a mix of returning and new DelShakes performers.

Rachel O’Hanlon-Rodriguez was an audience favorite as Stephano in “The Tempest.”

Kimie Muroya began her professional career as a DelShakes performance apprentice in 2015’s “The Taming of the Shrew,” and returns after performances with the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble, InterAct Theatre Company, and Theatre Exile.

Rounding out the three witches is DelShakes newcomer CJ Higgins, who is the operations & programs coordinator for Theatre Philadelphia and has played Puck in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and Algernon Moncrieff in “The Importance of Being Earnest.”

Del Shakes Artistic Squad member Mariah Ghant takes to the stage as Macbeth. Ghant played Titania for Del Shakes in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at Rodney Square and has directed and produced many of the company’s “Beyond Shakespeare” and “Social Shakespeare” events over the last two years. She is also the artistic associate for Wilma Theater and an improviser with ComedySportz Philly.

“I feel like I’m training for a marathon,” said Ghant. “Macbeth is constantly battling with his mind, his heart, and the forces of the natural (and supernatural!) world. Keeping up with that emotional push and pull is enough, but then there’s more! Upholding this titan of a classical figure in Shakespeare’s canon can get heavy.”

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The cast also features Ciera Gardner as Lady Macbeth, who returns to Del Shakes after serving as text coach for “The Tempest.” Gardner also has performed with Arden Theatre Company, Theatre in the X, and Shakespeare in Clark Park.

Patrons may bring their chairs or blankets as well as their own food or drink, or buy from the DelShakes concessions tent, which features wine from Swigg, beer from Wilmington Brew Works and light fare from Janssen’s Market, plus soda and snacks courtesy of Kenny Family Shoprite.

Rockwood Park is at 4651 Washington Street Extension in Wilmington. Tickets range from $20-$25  Thursdays through Sundays, July 26-Aug. 6.  Wednesdays are Pay What You Can with a variety of price points available starting at $5.

A limited number of pre-placed lawn chairs are available in reserved locations on a nightly basis, with a $45 Saved Seat ticket.

Additional passes, including an unlimited attendance Summer Festival pass and a pass that combines Summer Festival tickets and tickets to this fall’s “Cymbeline” are available for $45—$72.

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