Minnesota Fringe Festival 2011

My Fringe

Macbeth: The Video Game Remix

Theatre Arlo

Written by Tim Uren and Bill Stiteler

Producer's website

Comedy, Sci-fi/Mystery/Horror, Literary adaptation

Contains Violence, Adult language

For ages 12+

"MUST SEE"

—Pioneer Press

"A strong script with laughs even if you aren't a gamer. Lots of sword and dagger play and skilled performances by all hands, especially Tim Uren in the title role and Dawn Krosnowski as a sexy, murderous, elvish Lady McB. Good. Bloody good."


"SPOT-ON"

—City Pages

"... this Theatre Arlo piece certainly hit a personal sweet spot, combining one of my favorite bits of the Bard with a spot-on parody of video games... A knowing script and good performances fuel the hour-long madness."


"VERY FUNNY"

—Vita.mn

"...cast members are very funny as they rotate through a series of player and non-player characters. Arlo's Macbeth is a winning bet even for those who don't trade in the coin of virtual realms."


"MUST SEE"

—TC Daily Planet

"With all the various Shakespeare adaptations that are out there I have to say that this was a really creative one to see... A must see show in the Fringe Festival..."


"YOU WILL LOVE THIS SHOW"

—FringeFamous


"If you play WOW or any sort of MMO, I’m willing to bet ten Fringe Bucks that you will love this show. If you haven’t played video games since your friends’ NES because your parents refused to buy you one for fear of your brain turning to mush like mine did, you’ll still appreciate the humor and plot... I got the feeling that these guys love gaming and love theater and what better way to combine the two but at Fringe."


FOUR 1/2 KITTIES

—Audience Reviews

See what audience and critics are raving about


Shakespeare's classic tale of treachery and bloody destiny, warped into a world of group raids, power ups and multiplayer quests. The tale of a n00b destined to be king—if he can ever make it out of first level!

Fringe-For-All Preview:





You can listen to the cast and creators of Macbeth: TVGR talk about the show on the Twin Cities Theater Connection podcast

Written by Tim Uren (10,000 Comic Books and this year's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Jekyll) and Bill Stiteler (sell-out hit THACO), Macbeth: the Video Game Remix is a nerdtastic take on Shakespeare.

Tim Uren as Macbeth


Dawn Krosnowski as Lady Macbeth

Duck Washington as Banquo

Photos by Craig VanDerSchaegen

Tim Uren
Role: Macbeth/Co-writer
Tim Uren is just another actor/comedian/writer/game producer/geekasaurus trying to get by in his beloved Twin Cities. Along the way he’s been lucky enough to work with the Scrimshaw Brothers, Hardcover Theater, the Old Gem Theater, Starting Gate Productions, the Brave New Workshop, Theatre in the Round, and the lovely and talented Theatre Arlo. For a view of his most recent work, visit Yig: The Movie.

You can also see Tim in the title role of his play, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Dr. Jekyll, here at the 2011 Minnesota Fringe Festival at the Theatre in the Round stage.

Dawn Krosnowski
Role: Lady Macbeth
Dawn began her life as a nerd at the age of eight when her equally geeky brother who also had no friends, introduced her to Dungeons and Dragons. Since then her career has taken off. She’s had the opportunity to play many rogues, clerics, fighters and even a paladin. An evil one, naturally. Though her favorite class will always be sorcerer (thank you, 3.5), recently Dawn has branched out into multi-class characters.

Dawn also appears in The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Dr. Jekyll at this year's Fringe. Want more Dawn? You can view her professional bio and reel on her website.

Duck Washington
Role: Banquo/Macduff
Being both a Shakespeare and a video game fan, Duck is thrilled to be a part of this production. As a cesarean birth, he believes Macduff is the role he was “not born” to play. Duck is an actor/director/audio designer in the Twin Cities.

Elsewhere in the Fringe, Duck is one of the Co-writers for The 612, playing at Rogues Gallery Arts.

Kelvin Hatle
Role: Witch/Narrator/Others
Kelvin is excited once again to perform in a show only his friends will understand. He has performed improv comedy with Stevie Ray’s, and with Six Ring Circus at the Brave New Workshop. He is a veteran of many Fringe Festival productions, most notably Council of Doom’s Watching Porn, Minnebarista’s 33 Dates, plus more Scrimshaw Brothers productions than can be listed here. He also hopes the rest of the cast doesn’t discover his preference for FPS shooters, as wacky t-shirts have a crummy armor class.

Kelvin's own Fringe show, Death Perception, plays at the Rarig Xperimental stage.

phillip andrew bennet low
Role: Witch/Soldier/Others
phillip low is a playwright and poet, storyteller and mime, theatre critic and libertarian activist. He has won acclaim at such varied venues as the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, Spirit in the House, FoolFest, and the DC, Indianapolis, Iowa, and Kansas City Fringe Festivals -- even as far as Melbourne, Australia. At the 2007 Minnesota Fringe, his one-man show Descendant of Dragons was the bestselling show in its venue and awarded a coveted Fringe Encore slot, while in 2009 The Rise of General Arthur was nominated for Best Spoken Word Performance by FringeFamous. He is a co-founder of the Rockstar Storytellers and founder and producer of Maximum Verbosity.

He can be seen this year in his own solo show Camelot is Crumbling, as well as assisting with the writing and direction of Minnesota Middle Finger with Ben San Del.

Sharon Stiteler
Role: Witch/Fleance/Macduff's Wife
Sharon Stiteler is a Twin Cities radio and TV personality on the subject of birds. She runs the Web site Birdchick.com, is a blue-ribbon winning beekeeper, and wrote the book Disapproving Rabbits. She slept with one of the producers of Theatre Arlo for this part.

Bill Stiteler
Role: Co-writer/Director
Bill Stiteler is the co-founder of Theatre Arlo, and the writer/director of Watching Porn and THACO, the latter of which he also adapted into a short film. His work has been seen at several extremely nerdy venues, such as Penny Arcade Expo, Origins, and CONvergence.

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Plenty enjoyable for old/young
by Suzanne Sharrock Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
Warming: was my last show of the night, and a few days ago, so slightly hazy, but the props, costume changes, general professional zaniness that make a great fringe show were all there. And some some Shakespeare, used loosely. (It helps to know your Shakespeare...) Great finish to a fun day. Thrust is a tought "encore" venue, since most shows there are all great.

Achievement Unlocked!
by Kale Ganann Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
MacBeth: The Video Game Remix is a delight, with an insane concept married to an excellent script and fantastic performers. It's a hugely entertaining delight, even for non-gamers like my wife. We saw this when it was staged at Convergence a while back, and it is just as much fun the second time around. Well done all!

Shakespeare for Gamers
by Mickey Foley Follow this reviewer
Rating 2 kitties
It's too bad there weren't more laughs to be had, because they stripped all the emotional stakes from the source material and left us with a morally neutral video game. If you're doing a version of Macbeth, you should really leave the evil in. The cast is talented, but there was no room in the script for emotional investment. Maybe I wouldn't have been as disappointed if they hadn't tried to link it with Macbeth. Removing that link wouldn't essentially change the show, and therein lies the problem.

Best show of the fringe
by Jim Agan Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
By far the best of nerdy Shakespeare mashups. it's what Hamluke wants to be. Everything just works with both source materials. The absurd deus ex machina of the witches as quest-givers is just brilliant; I love poking fun at a staple plot device of video games while pointing out is was good enough for the Bard's best play. A brilliant performance by Lady Macbeth with such beautifully expressed frustration at her far less capable husband. The more things change...

Others are right in saying some knowledge of video games help with a lot of the jokes. I do play RPGs of the non-MMO variety, but I think most of the humor would work if you have a passing familiarity with gaming culture.

n00b was pwnd
by Mark Long Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
I know very little about the online gaming world, just enough to be dangerous.
This show is clever and funny. It is unnecessary to know the specifics of the community to find it amusing and a little sad. Tim is wonderfully hapless and Dawn is gorgeous and hilariously mean to him in it.
Silly fun.

It's a Blast
by Wes Jorde Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
These are the best actors in the world, either for tragedy, comedy, history, pastoral, pastoral-comical, historical-pastoral, tragical-historical, tragical-comical-historical-pastoral... Also, what a nice integration of concepts from the world of technology. A pleasure-filled play on the original.

Nerdgasm
by Heather Baldwin Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
This show fills me with such joy. It is a remount of a show performed at BLB and at ConVergence in 2010, created before the Shakespeare/geek-topic mash-up genre became so popular in this year's Fringe. Tim Uren, in the title role, is the perfect lovable loser whose role-playing character is no match against his ruthless wife (Dawn Krosnowski), or even the woodland squirrels. Duck Washington, phillip low, Kelvin Hatle, and Sharon Stiteler round out a hilarious ensemble cast. I recommend having at least some prior familiarity with MacBeth and some general knowledge of video games and/or role-playing to fully appreciate this show, but it's not a prerequisite.

Scottish Video Game Remix
by Jess Pants Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
The cast was amazingly fun, and the script was entertaining. I'm more of a console gamer than computer gamer, so a LOT of jokes flew over my head. Shows are always better when there's an ASL interpreter, and I learned the sign for 'squirrel'. AWESOME.

Macbeth was made to be video game!
by Nathan Curland Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Great idea, script and acting. Shakespeare is kicking himself that he can't cash in! Don't have to be a nerd to love it and feel for the protagonist.

The Scottish Video Game/Play Fun
by Zander Lee Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
I don't play video games, but I still enjoyed this a lot. Funny performances, funny dialogue, Shakespeare via video game nerds. Good stuff.

Mashup
by Dixie Treichel Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
Fun mashup of the Scottish play and gaming. This play really would have benefited from some electronic game sound effects.

Entertaining!
by Laurie Frattallone Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
My 15-year-old son was keen to see this. I enjoyed it quite a bit. Lady Macbeth was excellent! Well-developed character; super talented actress. The rest of the cast seemed to struggle a bit to rise to her level of performance. Macbeth also did a good job. A number of the supporting players slayed me with one-liners as they changed characters rapidly. The show dragged in spots--seemed longer than an hour.

The costumes were fabulous. Other reviewers have mentioned the bloody gloves. They were mesmerizing. If I find out those are just some plain-old leather gloves, I will be so disappointed.

Nice work!

Excellent comedy
by Sibre Collard Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Very funny show - much of it was just spot-on for anyone who's played an MMO. I confess a few jokes fell flat for me - the "selling everything for a horse" one in particular (is it supposed to be a Richard III reference? Seems out of place when nearly everything else is either Macbeth or modern) - but maybe it's a reference to something I don't know. Otherwise, most of it didn't require in-depth knowledge of Shakespeare, luckily for me. And the bloody gloves were perfect - they were EXACTLY how you'd expect a gamer to handle them.

MMO to the extreme
by Erik Lundin Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Do you love MMOs and World of Warcraft then you have to see this show.

LEROOOOOOOYYY!
by William Marth Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
DISCLAIMER: I know everyone involved in this show.

That being said, this is my second viewing of The Scottish MMO after their run at the BLB last year. It's just as funny now as it was then. You'll have to be a bit of a geek to get all the references (LEROOOOOOY JENKINS!), but it's called The Video Game Remix. Deal With It.

The script is fantastic and the onstage talent easily matched it.

For: Nerds of all varieties
Not For: Ummm... NotGeeks?

Great for the gaming widows
by Angela Gross Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
I am a Shakespeare geek with a spouse who is much more into online gaming than I am, so I greatly enjoyed this play. My husband and I have had the same conversations as the Macbeths (though thankfully, my husband has never tried to kill my character just for fun). The plot of Macbeth was reflected very well, and Lady Macbeth as an elven assassin was brilliant.

I would have liked more lines from Macbeth itself, but with the players fast forwarding through "game" dialogue, it made sense that there weren't. The ending was also a little weak for my tastes.

Overall, this is a very enjoyable play. I highly recommend it if you game or shake your head at a gamer on a regular basis.

Geeky fun!
by Brett Slocum Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
This show was hilarious. If the Scottish Play was a quest in World of Warcraft. Fun acting, scrumptious witty writing. This company always has fun geeky scripts. Dawn Krosnowski so looked the part of an elf from WoW.

OMG LOL!
by Evelyn Blum Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
I think normally I would give a show like this 4 kitties, cause I try to save those 5 kitties for the best of the best, but this one had me cracking up so much, and it hit home. I have always been a Tim Uren fan before, but this has made me true blue fanatic. Go see this one! You don't need to know of the world of online games, they do a great job walking you through it (text base level even..!)and they so creativly work Macbeth into it as well! LOVE how they do the out damn spot routine!!!!!!

Way Better Than Expected
by Bill McTeer Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Ever since Tron, shows have been trying to latch onto gamer energy, usually with mediocre results. This show is a solid hit, managing to poke fun at gamers, gaming, and MacBeth, with a little bit of domestic strife thrown in. I loved it and you will too.

Special attention to Dawn Krosnowski as she slides effortlessly between wife-with-her-own-agenda and evil mastermind Lady MacBeth. You can't take your eyes away but you hope someone else is the target of her dazzling "you're SO dead" smile.

LEVEL UP!
by Ariel Pinkerton Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
I have been looking forward to seeing this show for 2 years now and with my lucky 4 sider in my pocket, I settled into my seat. Not only was this great fun, but a very cleaver mash-up in a sea of so-so pseudo shakespeare. Having watched my husband flip thru many such games I too found myself crying out "don't skip the flavor text!" Put this on you list and see this funny, sexy, talented and ridiculous show.

I'm not a gamer at all
by Scott Pakudaitis Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
yet this show had me doubled over in laughter. MacBeth as a video game quest is an apt and brilliant adaptation. Strong performances by the cast and a script with enough exposition that if all you know is that people play role-playing games online, you'll still understand the jokes.

Awesome!
by Harold Klein Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Very funny - a must see!

Thunderous Mirth
by Hazen Markoe Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
This wild take on the "Scottish play" is given the video gamer treatment in this laugh-out-loud funny show that imagines MacBeth as a put upon husband who tries to bond with his inattentive wife via her favorite computer fantasy game. Tim Uren and Dawn Krosnowski are delightful as the Macbeths as they attempt to level up in the game. With delightfully hammy acting and a wicked sense of humor, this is definitely a show worth seeing.

Good energy
by Elise Heise Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
Tim Uren and Dawn Krosnowski make a great pair on stage, and the energy of the performance is marvelous and engages the audience. Sure, there is plenty of gamer humor in the show, but then again, "video game" is in the title so if one does not expect this, all I can say is caveat emptor and /facepalm.

Good laughs !
by Gerri Lynch-Slocum Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
My very first fringe play ever was THACO years ago and this was even better and although I dont play WoW or any online virtual reality games I laughed alot and enjoyed the timing of the actors very much. The script explains things without talking down to the muggles.

Love it!
by Hal Bichel Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Anyone who has ever played an online computer game, or knows someone who has, or has heard of them, should find this show hilarious. I saw it at BLB during its first run and HAD to see it again when I heard it was going to be in Fringe! Bravo, Arlo!

I'm officially old
by Michael Lewis Follow this reviewer
Rating 2 kitties
I must officially be old, because I didn't enjoy this show nearly as much as the rest of the audience. I'm an on-line gamer, but so much of the show felt like the unskippable cutscenes that the show ranted against. There were about 15 minutes of funny material and about 45 minutes of filler, and I found myself wishing I could press "X" to skip to the next funny part. I'm a huge fan of these guys' previous shows, but this one just didn't work for me.

Fair is foul
by Publius McGee Follow this reviewer
Rating 2 kitties
About 70% of the jokes are WoW-esque and not a shared cultural experience. And for those of us who did understand them, well...they've been made again and again and again. They were like complaining about airline food or waiting in line at the DMV. Does this even need to be said at this point?

I expect good things from Tim Uren. This time, I was disappointed.


by Jason Dalrymple Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Before, it was Macbeth and his Awesome Scottish Castle Party. Now? Flash forward to the age of technology and prepare for non-stop laughs for this rendering of the Macbeth MMORPG. Even if you're not fluent in the online role playing world, the references will remind you of someone that you know that IS "one of them". The tie-ins to Macbeth are fluid, the script and acting tight and characters almost too believable. My only disappointment was that I was laughing so much, I'm sure I missed some equally funny lines here and there. A must-see.

Everything.....For a horse....
by Tristan Miller Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
The third show I saw was “Macbeth: The Video Game Remix.” Now, I went in with high hopes and parts of those hopes were dashed and parts were gratified. I’m not much of an MMO-er so, I guess that’s my main issue with the show. The references I got, (particularly the Shakespearean ones) were hilarious. I’ve not said the words: “LLLLEEEERRRROOOOYYYY AH-JEEEEENNNKIINNSSSS” as much as I have now. The lead male did very well, incredibly endearing and sweet. The lead female did very well as well, but unfortunately her character was just so obnoxious to me I couldn’t stand her. But! The Actress did well. The supporting cast also did well, but as I say a lot of the references went over my head. So….four and a half out of five guys.

I will never get enough of this show.
by Heather Bufkin Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
I've never played World of Warcraft, or any other MMORPG in fact. It doesn't matter. Anyone with the most basic knowledge of video games will find plenty of laughs in this show. While there are in-jokes for the more internet-savvy gamer, the use of a new player as the main character allows the structure and culture to be explained for the less geeky. The performances are excellent and the mechanics of a virtual world are brilliantly interpreted for the stage.

Must see comedy
by Patricia Lindgren Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
Excellent premise, good writing, great acting. A little confusing at times - or so says my video gaming girl tween. Tim Uren's excellent sense of comedic timing makes this a sure bet. Kind of ended without a real end.

Shakespeare weenies love it too!
by Windy Bowlsby Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
I don't play online games, but I have tons of friends who do - so I got all the gaming jokes and references.
But where I LOL'd the most was the bit about "murtherers".

This is a script that knows how to snark about hit points AND snark about Shakespearean language.

Pacing was tight, performers were charismatic (I'd say Dawn Krosnowski was my favorite as the gleefully murderous Lady M, except so were Low and Hatle and Stiteler and Uren and Washington...), and the script was smart and human.

Go see it.

See this show!
by Jennie Eckholt Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
If you have never heard of a MMO like World of Warcraft and have never even seen someone or know someone who plays, then don't see this show. However, if you even have a small inkling about what online gaming is like, this show is awesome. I laughed from curtain to curtain. I will be seeing it again!!

This show made me sad.
by Kato Lee Follow this reviewer
Rating 2 kitties
I'm a huge fan of Tim Uren, but this show frankly is not up to his usual high quality standard. The show leans HEAVILY on MMORPG lingo and in-jokes. If you have never been in, or do not even know, what a five-man raid is, you will not get many of the jokes and acronyms. After the show, I saw many enthusiastic nerdy guys explaining various jokes and plot points to their bewildered spouses/girlfriends/best friends that they are secretly in love with.

Even if you DO know what HP, NPCs, and THAC0 stand for, you probably won't be terribly surprised by the tired jokes about escort quests and hit points. Great performances, but not a great script.

Funny, even if you've never played WOW
by Delano Dugarm Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Never having played World of Warcraft, I had doubts that I would get the jokes in this show. No fear. It was a great show. While the leads were uniformly excellent, I particularly enjoyed Stiteler, Low and Hattle's turns as nonplayer characters.

Fantastic Show
by Bob Danielson Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
This is such a fantastic show. I spent the entire hour of the show laughing myself hoarse. There's a lot of appeal here for anyone who has played online games or has wondered what drives people to play online games. (I fall solidly in the second category.) The cast brings this world to life and pokes fun at this world while also showing some of what makes people enjoy it so much.

LOL For gamers and non-gamers alike!
by Heather Lamb Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
This is a must see!
You'll be charging in like Leeroy and die of laughter. There are simply so many jokes from start to end--even if you've never played a video game in your life. If you have played (especially World of Warcraft) you will laugh all the harder.
One of the best (and definitely the funnest and funniest) renditions of MacBeth I've ever seen.

So glad I didn't pass this one up
by Florence Brammer Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
I'm not a gamer, so I thought I wouldn't get the gaming jokes in this and wasn't planning on going. I decided at the last minute to go, and really enjoyed it so much. The writing was great and the perfomances top-notch. Really, really fun.

Exceptionally Funny esp w/WoW Background
by Andrew Brown Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
This exceptionally funny show is approachable for just about anyone, but those with at least an introduction to World of Warcraft or other MMOs will have the easiest (and funniest) time picking up the references dropped left and write. Very well written and flawlessly executed by the cast. Kudos.

Be ready to level up!
by Mamma Borg Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
Clever fusion for literary and gaming geeks alike. Be prepared to laugh often and loudly. Solidly crafted and executed (puns intended).

!
by David Rust Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
I have to be honest: any time I can watch Tim Uren and Kelvin Hatle on stage, playing off of each other, I line up in advance. This play is no exception.

Ok, a confession here... I started playing World of Warcraft about 9 months ago. I've played other MMORPGs for years. To take Macbeth and interpret its events as a quest thread from an online role-playing game is fertile fodder for comedy. Put it in the hands of this team of actors and you get gold!

The jokes -jibes about both the play and the world of online games- were perfectly timed and expertly delivered. The story elements about a husband trying to involve himself in his wife's online hobby are hilarious.

If you have ever played -even once- an online game ... if you have ever wondered about the events in Macbeth ... you need to see this production!

Not a game nerd - still liked this
by David Trudeau Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Very funny and zany and well done - having played a few computer adventure games with kids have a general idea of how they go. Framing the Scottish Play in a computer game is a great concept that works well and is executed brilliantly. Tim Uren is consistently entertaining and Dawn Krosnowski is stunning as a send up on Lady MacBeth.

Six Kitties - Must See
by August Berkshire Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
This year I'm trying to do my bit to combat kitty inflation by defining 3 kitties the way it should be defined - as average - instead of as a bad mark, and by not awarding too many 5 kitties. That said, I'd give this show six kitties and label it a Must See.

It seems to be a Fringe tradition to fuse two disparate things together into a show - in this case the Shakespeare play Macbeth and modern on-line gaming.

I'm pretty familiar with Macbeth but I have never played an on-line game, though I know some of the goals and lingo. I'm pretty sure I got all the Macbeth allusions but I know I missed some of the gaming ones. Nevertheless, that did not diminish my delight over this witty, well-crafted, well-acted play.

I expect to see about 45 plays at the Fringe this year and that no more than 5 of them will make my must-see list. This is the first.

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Schedule
Friday, 8/510:00 p.m. 
Monday, 8/87:00 p.m. 
Thursday, 8/115:30 p.m. 
Friday, 8/127:00 p.m.This performance is ASL interpreted
Sunday, 8/144:00 p.m. 
Venue

U of M Rarig Center Thrust venue information
330 21st Ave. S, Main Floor


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