There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
It’s taken Lean & Hungry Theater the better part of four years to achieve a measure of prominence, but on a Saturday evening in late August the troupe’s got three minutes and eight seconds to spare: The first cast read-through of its new radio play of Macbeth, scheduled to air from 6 to 7 p.m. Halloween night on WAMU 88.5-FM, has come in slightly ahead of schedule. Lean & Hungry’s prior audio productions of Shakespeare have all been performed live in front of an audience—even the sound effects—but this will be its second production created explicitly for broadcast (WAMU’s HD-3 channel aired Twelfth Night on Sept. 5). In winnowing the Bard’s supernatural tale of ambition and murder to 59 minutes, and in an attempt to serve the company’s mission of reaching out to young listeners that may have less experience with Elizabethan verse than a typical Folger Library crowd-goer, co-director and WAMU producer Karen Munson has set the play in an alternate 21st-century Washington, D.C. Along with the use of War of the Worlds-style news reports of King Duncan’s assassination and the climactic siege at Castle Dunsinane, there’s a narrator who breaks in periodically to recap the play’s events in contemporary plainspeak. Lean & Hungry co-founders Jessica Hansen and Alex Zavistovich (who star as the Macbeths) says Macbeth could be the start of a beautiful friendship, wherein they’ll produce plays for WAMU at a steady clip. But no one’s more excited than composer and sound designer Gregg Munson, who’ll take advantage of the fact this production will be prerecorded to sculpt a more detailed and atmospheric sonic environment than is possible on stage. “With radio, I can paint more with the sound,” Martin says.