“Shepherd, sandy-haired and quietly composed, is the hero of the evening in that he seems to be summoning up the characters through his imagination.The Guardian
“Scott Shepherd is astonishing…this brilliantly paced production endows his character with godlike powersThe New York Times
“One of the most exciting and improbable accomplishments in theater in recent years.The New Yorker (on GATZ)


Scott Shepherd has been a core performer for over 20 years in two of New York’s most esteemed theater companies, The Wooster Group and Elevator Repair Service. He has won two Obie Awards, for The Wooster Group’s Poor Theater and for Elevator Repair Service’s Gatz. Film credits include X-Men: Dark Phoenix, Hostiles, Jason Bourne, Bridge of Spies, Side Effects, And So It Goes and Norman. Television credits include Bluff CIty Law (NBC), True Detective (HBO), The Young Pope (HBO), and Wormwood (Netflix).


Co-Produced by Malthouse Theatre + ArKtype / Thomas O. Kriegsmann
Conceived by Scott Shepherd
Directed by Paul Lazar
Cast includes Scott Shepherd & Zahra Newman
Set Design by Eric Dyer
Set/Prop Engineering by Joe Silovsky
World Premiere: May 9, 2020, Malthouse Theatre, Melbourne, Australia

Far from Inverness, a man tinkering in his cellar has assembled a cage-like contraption from hoarded junk, where something wicked is being stirred up. What started as a hobby evolves into a battle for dominance and a tantalizing search for the truth of an event that changed the world he once knew forever.

In THIS IGNORANT PRESENT the darkness of Shakespeare’s tragedy curls its fingers around the heart of a suburban family as two actors and a child conjure the entirety of Shakespeare’s spectacle. New York theatre legend Scott Shepherd (The Young Pope, Elevator Repair Service’s Gatz) stars as Macbeth, turning himself inside out as he devours leader, relative and onlooker. Australian Zahra Newman (Wake in Fright) co-stars as a Lady Macbeth forging a new future. A dangerous and adrenaline-fueling production is staged in an electrified set, every gesture made creates a ricochet of sparks. This radical interpretation unites Shakespeare and some of the world’s most inventive theatre-makers to expose how alarmingly possible it is to arrive at an ignorant present.

THIS IGNORANT PRESENT was originally conceived and performed as a workshop by Shepherd for an audience of peers 18 years ago and has been simmering ever since. The work will see Shakespeare’s text and characters realized in full. Now confusion’s masterpiece finds new blood in the hands of a bevy of experimental auteurs including director Paul Lazar (The Wooster Group, Big Dance Theater, The Elephant Room), designer Eric Dyer (Radiohole), and movement director Elizabeth Dement (White Oak Project, Liz Gerring) in this reimagining of Shakespeare’s immortal evocation of our common and unnatural horrors.

Tour Personnel: 8
Venue: Black box / Proscenium
Capacity: 150-850
Availability: June 2020 – TBD // Worldwide OPEN


January 6 – 26, 2020 – Workshop I, New York City 

March 9 – 26, 2020 – Workshop II, New York City

April 9 – May 8, 2020 – Rehearsals & Tech, Malthouse Theatre, Melbourne, AUS

May 9 – 31, 2020 – Malthouse Theatre, Melbourne, AUS (World Premiere)

June 2020 – August 2022 – Worldwide Tour OPEN