A Queen, Not a Lady

A Queen, Not a Lady

The McLean Drama Company prepares for 'Lady Macbeth Revealed' at the Alden Theatre.

Daveeda Shaheen had never been in a play before, but that did not stop her from trying out for a part in the McLean Drama Company's upcoming production of "Lady Macbeth Revealed." Shaheen surprised herself and landed the role of The Dark Lady, a mysterious figure who guides Lady Macbeth. Thus far, Shaheen has enjoyed every minute of life on the stage.

"The director is so great and so fantastic," said Shaheen who has lived in McLean for most of her life. "Everyone is so professional."

Shaheen admits to having butterflies in her stomach about performing in front of an audience for the first time, but she is ready for the challenge.

"Luckily I am the Dark Lady, so hopefully, I'll just blend right in if I make a mistake," she said with a laugh at a recent rehearsal.

"Lady MacBeth Revealed" was written by McLean resident Rachael Bail. It took Bail a little over a year to pen the drama, which she finished in March.

"I was looking up Macbeth in the encyclopedia and I read that Lady Macbeth actually had a better claim to the throne than Macbeth, so that's when I got the idea for the play," said Bail, who has written two other plays that have been presented in the Alden Theatre.

"LADY MACBETH REVEALED" depicts a woman far different from the one presented in William Shakespeare's famous play. In Bail's play, Lady Macbeth is called by her real name, Queen Gruoch, and is a loyal Scotswoman and a loving wife. According to Bail, most of the play is historically accurate.

Kirk Lambert of Fairfax Station, will be playing the role of Macbeth.

"It's definitely challenging," said Lambert. "I have a great deal of dialogue — some 40 pages or so, but that forces you to bring the best of your game."

He added that he has found the character of Macbeth to be an interesting one.

"It's challenging to portray a man of many emotions, while keeping control of those emotions," said Lambert.

Anne Stuecker of Washington, D.C., plays the role of Queen Gruoch. Stuecker has been acting for four years, but this will be her first time in a full-length lead role.

"I'm a little nervous, and my challenge is a short rehearsal period," said Stuecker.

Pressure aside, Stuecker said she has really enjoyed working on the play.

"I love Shakespeare and I love the idea of showing Lady Macbeth in a positive light," said Stuecker. "I also like period pieces – the older the better in my opinion."

Stuecker added that one of the best aspects of this production is its director, Jamie Roberts.

"Jamie is one of the most experienced and best directors I've ever worked with," said Stuecker.

Roberts has been directing plays for about 12 years. After doing a reading with Bail in March, Bail asked her to direct "Lady Macbeth Revealed."

"It's really exciting to open a new work, especially a historical work," said Roberts.

Roberts said that she has enjoyed bringing her own vision to the script.

"My main concern is transitions," said Roberts. "Some of these scenes are five lines long, so it needs to be really fluid."

For this reason, Roberts chose to use minimal sets, allowing the actors to move on and off stage quickly and quietly. Roberts said she has also enjoyed working with her cast.

"The lovely thing is the range of experience," said Roberts. "They all have varying degrees, and so I think everyone is learning from everyone else.

The show will run at the Alden Theatre from June 16-18.

"The benefit of doing a short run of three nights is that the energy is really great," said Roberts.