The Theater Department at Lamar State College-Port Arthur is going old school – with a “post-apocalyptic” twist – and the result should be a blood-splattered good time for all.

Class Act, also known as the college’s drama club, presents William Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” Oct. 17-19 in the school’s Black Box Theater, a small venue that will limit the size of both the audience and the cast.

But not the spectacle.

“They didn’t have special effects when Shakespeare was writing,” explained Clark Reed, this production’s director. “Now that we have special effects, we can have battles on stage. American audiences want to see the action on stage.”

How much action? Well, there’s a reason this show has a fight choreographer.

And this is Shakespeare. Of course, heads will roll.

Reed says he’s not aware of when – or if – LSC-PA has ever staged one of Shakespeare’s play before this one. Dr. Keith Cockrell, LSC-PA Theater Department Chair, said it hasn’t happened in his 20 years on the scene.

“I think the students are learning an appreciation for Shakespeare,” Reed said. “Not everybody loves Shakespeare, but if you’re learning theater, you need to understand Shakespeare, because everything else in theater is based on Shakespeare.”

The 16th century vocabulary is one hurdle, but Reed has dispensed with a lot of what he calls “the fluff,” and he’s pared the show down to one hour, 45 minutes wrapped around an intermission.

‘’Shakespeare gives you a lot of creative license,” Reed said. “I’ll probably upset a lot of purists, because I’m breaking a lot of rules.”

Playing the title role in what is known as the Bard’s darkest tragedy is Keyton Porras, who goes from a brave Scottish general named Macbeth to King of Scotland via the first of many dirty deeds, while Haleigh Courts is cast as the conniving Lady Macbeth.

Corbin Winston is the ill-fated King Duncan and the Macduffs are portrayed by Tack Somers and Stephanie Barclay. Others in the 13-member cast are Skylar Porras, Vance Zumwalt, William Barclay, Denise Long, Stephanie Evans, Tiffany Thomas, Nikita Harris and the quick-change artist Carlton James, who is portraying about a dozen different characters.

Though it’s a school production, “we utilize several community members,” Reed said, “including a mother and son team, which is awesome and beautiful, because they die together.”

Technical crew for the show includes Damon Gengo, Josh Cuccio, Jeff Courts, Crystal McDowell, Neicy Gordon, David Gillespie, Stephanie Molina and Katherine Powell.

Showtime is 7:30 p.m. for the Oct. 17 and Oct. 18 performances, with a 2:00 p.m. start Oct. 19.

Ticket prices are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and students at other schools. Lamar State-Port Arthur faculty, staff, and students are free. With fewer than 100 seats per showing, audience members should phone 409-984-611 to reserve tickets.