Macbeth strikes back at the Romance


Rob McKenzie, director of “Macbeth Meets Star Wars,” sat thinking about his upcoming production.

“People are corruptible,” McKenzie said. “Macbeth tells that story very well. There’s a strong parallel to Anakin’s fall to the dark side.”

The Romance Theater will be hosting “Macbeth Meets Star Wars” from May 4 to May 6. The show is intentionally scheduled to open on May the Fourth — a meaningful day for Star Wars fans.

Shakespeare and Star Wars are not a new combination. QuirkBooks began publishing adaptations of each movie script rewritten as Shakespeare plays in 2013.

“Macbeth Meets Star Wars” is not a Shakespearean adaption of Star Wars though, but a Star Wars-inspired adaptation of Shakespeare.

“There’s some pretty epic fight scenes,” McKenzie said. “We only took design reference to Star Wars, the script is still William Shakespeare, but we took all our design inspiration from the galaxy of Star Wars.”

McKenzie said that the possibilities of someone falling from light to dark are endless, as well as the redemption paths that someone can follow from dark to light.

Much like the stories of Star Wars and Macbeth, the story of the Romance is one of redemption.

The Romance Theater is a downtown Rexburg Main Street fixture built in 1917, according to the Romance Theater’s webpage.

“Restoration has been ongoing at the Romance for the past 15 years,” said Gary Benson, a faculty member in the Department of Theatre and Dance at BYU-Idaho.

Benson has been one of the community members leading the charge to preserve the cultural landmark.

“There’s pieces of decorative plaster missing,” McKenzie said. “It’s fallen into quite a bit of disrepair.”

The restoration process was stretched over 15 years because of “lots of little, stupid things,” Benson said.

Benson said downtown Rexburg was a hub for the area including people from Rigby and St. Anthony.

Benson said there were a lot of interesting and unique things going on.

Benson said these interesting things consisted of many live acts, prize fights and movies.

“We want the Romance to be a cultural gathering place,” Benson said. “We could turn it into a Bohemian district with sidewalk bistros and maybe even a gallery. Wouldn’t it be cool to have something like that in Rexburg again?”

Benson said he does not expect downtown to be what it once was, but it could be a unique point of Rexburg.

“There’s always hope,” Benson said.

As Jyn Erso, hero of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, said, “We have hope.”



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