Hickory – Three of the most iconic characters in theatre come to the stage in MACBETH, opening Friday, October 14 at the Hickory Community Theatre. They are the three witches whose famous line, “Something wicked this way comes,” has inspired countless other forms in popular culture, including books, movies and music. A trio of talented local actors – Ashlen Cheers, Ray Christian-Dickens and Taylor Edwards – takes on these characters in the Hickory production, which is set in the Victorian era.

Cheers, who plays Third Witch is originally from Fleming Island, FL and moved to Granite Falls six years ago to be closer to family. Her first role at HCT was just last spring when she was in the ensemble for THE PIRATE QUEEN. Her previous stage roles include Princess Winnifred in ONCE UPON A MATTRESS and Elle Woods in LEGALLY BLONDE at Fleming Island High School and Mary Sunshine in CHICAGO at Lenoir-Rhyne University. When asked about choosing MACBETH for her next show, Cheers replied, “I love the Victorian era, and gore.” She is currently studying to be a funeral director.

Christian-Dickens plays Second Witch and says she chose this role because it is, “It’s exciting, dynamic and gender-affirming. My favorite things about Hickory Community Theatre is that it has a great mix of professionalism, artistry and inclusivity.” She was most recently on the HCT stage in the lead role of Celie in THE COLOR PURPLE. Her other roles include Lorell in DREAMGIRLS at HCT and Ensemble Dancer in AIN’T MISBEHAVIN at The Green Room. Christian-Dickens has a Bachelor’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Appalachian State and lives in Boone with her husband Alan Dickens.

Edwards, who plays First Witch, just came off playing Buck Wiley in the HCT production of MEMPHIS last month and is happy to be back on stage in such a well-known role. A Hickory resident and Catawba College graduate, he has been performing at Hickory Community Theatre since the 1990s. His most recent HCT credits include THE COLOR PURPLE, THE THANKSGIVING PLAY, SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE, HAIR and DREAMGIRLS. “My favorite thing about HCT,” he says, “is the diversity of talent and the variety of shows.”

Performances of MACBETH are October 14-29, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30, Sundays, October 16th and 23rd at 2:30 and Thursday, October 27th at 7:30.

Tickets for all performances are $16 for adults and $10 for youth and students. For tickets visit hickorytheatre.org or call the box office at 828-328-2283.

The HCT’s 74th season is sponsored by Paramount Automotive and Sunbelt Xpress. HCT is a funded affiliate of the United Arts Council of Catawba County. MACBETH is sponsored in part by Rob and Erin Hooks.

PHOTO: (L-R) Ashlen Cheers, Ray Christian-Dickens and Taylor Edwards are the three witches in MACBETH, on stage at the Hickory Community Theatre from October 14 through 29. Photo by Eric Seale.