Great River Shakespeare Festival (GRSF) is known for their commitment to dynamic, diverse, accessible and clearly understood productions that keep Shakespeare relevant and exciting for modern audiences of all ages. With help from a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, the festival has adapted “Macbeth” into five action-packed episodes designed especially for students. The podcast features GRSF’s professional acting company and is underscored by Scott O’Brien’s haunting music, composed in 2019 for Paul Mason Barnes’ critically acclaimed GRSF production. With the addition of episode recaps, useful stage directions and a cinematic soundscape, students can easily follow the action of the play, and also read along with the text as they listen. Two bonus episodes include lively discussion of the play’s themes, historical context and Shakespeare’s use of language and verse. "Reading Shakespeare off the page is challenging. The plays are much easier to understand when spoken by trained actors. We hope these podcasts support our mission to make Shakespeare accessible to everyone." says Doug Scholz-Carlson, the festival’s artistic director and co-director of the podcast. Each episode is free and available at and also on Spotify.

The podcast is directed by Doug Scholz-Carlson and Victoria Nassif, text coaching by Victoria Teague, sound design by Scott O’Brien, sound editing by Nathanael Brown. The cast features Andrew Carlson (Macbeth), Leah Gabriel (Lady Macbeth), Michael Fitzpatrick (Duncan), Will Sturdivant (Banquo, Siward), Vanessa Morosco (Macduff), Valerie Lynn Brett (Lady Macduff/Hecate), Alex Campbell (Malcolm), Chris Pow (Ross), Brittany Proia (Lennox), Melissa Maxwell (Seyton), Victoria Nassif (Witch), Gavin Mueller (Witch), Lauren Winder (Witch), Doug Scholz-Carlson (Caithness), Jackson Mixon (Donalbain), Liam Carlson (Fleance), Emma Bucknam (Servant), Lyda Carlson (Macduff Child), and Hannah Young (Young Siward). Thanks to KQAL and WSU.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.