The continuous, soulful music of the lone bagpipe player fills the open sky. Ominously dressed witches prowl through the crowd. Nervous anticipation is so thick it could be cut with a knife.

And, it starts with murder.

Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” plunges into the dark depths of the human psyche, examining themes of ambition, violence, guilt, fate and free will. Macbeth cannot face the consequences of murdering King Duncan, and he slips further and further into insanity. What will happen to Macbeth?

Attendees can uncover the mystery of “Macbeth” at the Rexburg Community Theatre performance on July 6 and 8 at Porter Park. The performance begins at 7 p.m., with the pre-show starting at 6:30 p.m. at the Beehive Pavilion.

The first performance took the stage on Friday, drawing in many people from the Rexburg community.

The Rexburg community gathers to watch "Macbeth" at Porter Park

The Rexburg community gathers to watch "Macbeth" at Porter Park. Photo credit: Marion Johnson

Shakespeare wrote “Macbeth” over 400 years ago. Yet, despite the centuries that have passed, its relevance still holds today. Inspired by Friday’s performance, BYU-Idaho graduates and students explore why Shakespeare’s works are important to them.

Kaia Cahoon and Kylie Boyd attended the play together.

Cahoon recounted how memories of her attending community Shakespeare plays personally impacted her.

“I always did this with my family, and it brought us closer together,” Cahoon, an elementary education major said. And, you become so much more. It’s such a fundamental way to experience art, and I think that can change you in a really positive way.”

Boyd related to Cahoon’s sentiments as she expressed why she felt that these community opportunities are fundamental to personal development.

“We just need to take time and look for these things and these opportunities — not only to support each other but to support ourselves in our own understanding of the world,” Boyd, an art education major said. (It’s important to) branch out to understand others and just enjoy life.”

Historically, Shakespeare crafted his work for the common people. He hoped that it would not only entertain but also resonate with them. He recognized the universality of human nature — for the rich, common and poor.

David Peck, an alumnus of 2023, detailed how he has changed as a result of taking time to think about Shakespeare’s themes.

“I feel like I have a richer life because I focus on the bigger picture instead of focusing on what’s happening right now,” Peck said. Whether in my own life or in the broader world … focusing just on what’s happening today is so limited. Whereas focusing on life and learning about themes … helps me to grow as a person.”

After the performance concluded, audience members were invited to mingle with each other and the cast.

Andrew Sparks, the actor who played Macbeth, described the challenge of playing an evil and insane character. He contemplated on his experience studying and researching for the role, expressing how it helped him better understand human nature.

“The deep stories of humanity are as old as time,” Sparks said. Shakespeare didn’t invent most of these stories … He adapted them into beautiful literary versions of themselves. And so anything you learn or watch in Shakespeare, you’re just learning, in my opinion, the truest stories of humanity.”

Shakespeare’s voice echoes through centuries and continues to resonate with BYU-I graduates and students.

Attendees may bring chairs, blankets or other seating. Bringing friends, family and snacks is also encouraged.

For more information about the play and performances, visit the Rexburg Community Theatre’s website.