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posted on April 24th, 2024 by Reyn Ricafort


Hailey (Grace Collins’ 27), Lexi (Katherine Gehring ’24)

Macbitches by Sophie McIntosh, directed by Chavon Patterson ‘24, played in Skidmore’s Studio A on April 6th and 7th. The show spends much of its time analyzing disruptions in hierarchies. The hierarchies in question? Collegiate theatre programs.

At the beginning of the play, five college theatre students are vigorously checking their emails, waiting for the cast list for the fall production of Macbeth. They discuss who is most likely to get the coveted role of Lady Macbeth, landing on senior Rachel (Lila Sandler ‘27) as the likely leading lady. Then, the list drops, and to their shock, surprise, and terror, the role of Lady Macbeth is assigned to freshman Hailey (Grace Collins ‘27).

Hailey is just as shocked as the rest of the upper-class girls. As she heads over to Rachel and Lexi’s (Katherine Gehring ‘24) apartment to join the girls in their night of “merriment,” she kindly asks sophomore Piper (Zoe Roldan-Calvin ‘27) if her roommate could join. Piper gives an unclear answer, and when the question is brought up again later, the girls make it clear that anyone not in their inner circle is welcome at the festivities. While in the first few moments of the play, the girls seem simply like dramatic theatre kids at first, it is here that the Mean Girls undercurrent is first made clear to the audience. This undercurrent will follow the girls throughout the play, causing near-constant tension in the apartment.

The rest of the play is nothing but the girls’ get-together. We watch as they drink and gossip about auditions, share stories of past performances of The Drowsy Chaperone, Hedda Gabbler, and Antigone, and discuss the inner mechanisms of their Theater BFA program. Discussing the BFA program, in particular, seems to elicit tension among the girls, especially when Professor Arik’s name pops up, the director of the upcoming production of Macbeth. Cam (Lila Smith ‘26) is adamantly against him for revealing her mental health issues to the faculty last semester. Rachel, on the other hand, is adamantly for Arik, as she believes him to have given all the girls their start in the program.

Cast of “Macbitches

Piper and Lexi showcase a healthy medium between Cam and Rachel’s sentiments, taking issue with his preferential treatment of men in the program, but respecting his intensity as a director.

As the liquor pours, the upperclassman crew’s jealousy towards the naive Hailey becomes more apparent to the audience. We see Cam cry about how badly she wanted the role of Lady M. We also see the girls complain about the lack of female roles in the show, especially given their director’s cutting of the Hecate scene. Through it all, Piper stays the voice of reason; she is, after all, the closest in age to Hailey, and has never had as big of a role as the other girls in the productions. Throughout the night, she urges Hailey to drink at a slower pace and to drink water as she passes the point of blackout.

As the upperclassmen girls’ envy towards Hailey becomes apparent, so too does Hailey’s naivete about the world she is entering. The upperclassmen girls are undeniably hardened by the world they’re trying to survive in, that is of collegiate theater; hence their comfort in making fun of their peer’s attempts at auditions and their tendency to refer to Macbeth as “Maccers” or “The Scottish Play,” lest they awaken some evil in the theatre. Hailey’s naivete juxtaposed with the upperclassmen girls’ cruelty makes for an unnerving theatrical experience; even if the audience is unsure about what the girls will do to Hailey, it becomes clear that Hailey is not going to leave Lexi and Rachel’s apartment as doe-eyed as she came.

Things come to a head after a drunken game of Never Have I Ever causes even more tension between Rachel and Hailey. Hailey blacks out, and Rachel and Lexi manage to get Piper out of the house by sending her off with a boy she’s had a crush on for a long time. After Piper is gone—only on the pretense that the other girls promise to take care of Hailey—Cam, Rachel, and Lexi abandon a blacked-out Hailey. They eventually return and threaten to cut all her hair off.

Cam (Lila Smith ‘26), Lexi (Katherine Gehring ’24)

However, their plan to mess with Hailey is quickly sent awry when Rachel offhandedly remarks that Hailey knows “nothing about [her] and Arik.” Lexi quickly catches on to the distinct connotation behind “her and Arik” and presses Rachel more on it. It is then revealed that part of Rachel’s consistent loyalty to Arik, their professor director, is because the two were sleeping together for much of the spring semester. This greatly upsets Lexi, and the two argue before getting into a physical altercation. They fight, scissors in hand, and Rachel accidentally stabs Lexi in the eye. Cam, who has been keeping watch, comes in upon hearing the commotion. Hailey manages to escape their grasp and call the police. Cam, Lexi, and Hailey all leave the stage, leaving Rachel to reckon with all she has done.

It is worth mentioning that the girl’s slow descent into madness or drunkenness–dependent on character–was represented well by the actors. Every single actress managed to perfectly meld themselves with their characters, creating a realistic depiction of what a catty drama student whose rage had gotten the better of them might do.

Patterson’s choices as a director were simply excellent. The audience was seated around Lexi and Rachel’s apartment, like flies on a wall witnessing the upperclassman girls’ descent into madness. This allows for an even tenser feeling, trapping the audience inside the play’s events and forcing them to watch the girls be overcome with jealousy to the point of hysteria.

Cast of “Macbitches”

The play is also brilliant in its references to source material and echoes many of Lady Macbeth’s themes throughout the show. While the girls in the play do not meet the same tragic fate as Lady Macbeth, there is no denying that for all these young girls trying to succeed in the hard-hitting theatrical world, their ambition and desire to move up ultimately causes their tragedy, just like how Lady Macbeth’s ambition leads to her downfall at the end of Macbeth.

Macbitches is a fascinating look into the “green-eyed monster” that Shakespeare lamented in one of his other tragedies. I am near certain that every single theatre person who was sitting in the audience on April 6th or 7th could relate to the sentiments shared by Cam, Lexi, and Rachel, even if they themselves would never accidentally stab their friend’s eye in a fit of anger.

Photos by Logan Waugh ’26


Kit Simpson ’27 is a staff writer for the Skidmore Theater Living Newsletter

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