Ethan Hawke to take on ‘Macbeth’ at Lincoln Center

Ethan Hawke will star in "Macbeth" at Lincoln Center Theater this winter.
(Jason Kempin / Getty Images)

Ethan Hawke has a taste for the macabre. More specifically: “Macbeth.”

The actor will star as the king of Scotland in the Shakespeare tragedy at Lincoln Center this winter. Jack O’Brien, whom Hawke worked with on 2006/2007’s “The Coast of Utopia” -- a role that earned him a Tony nomination -- will direct. The two also worked together on the 2003-04 Broadway staging of “Henry IV.”

“Macbeth,” however, has long been on Hawke’s wish list. “It’s a part I’ve always wanted to play,” he said on the PBS series “Shakespeare Uncovered.”

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“When you think of violent murders, brutal crimes, nightmarish horrors, you might think of the big city, you might think of Manhattan. Or, if you’re like me, you might think a little bit past that to about a 400-year-old play named ‘Macbeth,’” Hawke said on “Shakespeare Uncovered.” “Even the name of it conjures witches and the dregs of the universe. This tale of mass murder is among the darkest, strangest of all of Shakespeare’s plays.”

In what’s shaping into a bit of Macbeth-mania, there have been several Broadway stagings of the Shakespeare play recently. Alan Cumming is currently starring in a one-man show version at the Barrymore Theater; it closes in July. Across the ocean, there’s a version starring Kenneth Branagh that will be broadcast from the U.K.’s Manchester International Festival to movie theaters across the U.S. this July.

Hawke’s latest films are the horror film “The Purge” and the romance “Before Midnight.”

The Hawke-anchored “Macbeth,” which begins previews Oct. 24, is one of four upcoming productions that Lincoln Center Theater announced Thursday. The others are James Lapine’s adaptation of Moss Hart’s autobiography “Act One”; Bruce Norris’ play “Domesticated,” starring Laurie Metcalf; and the world premiere of Anthony Giardina’s “The City of Conversation.”


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