Hand-washing ‘MacBeth’ actors appear in COVID-19 PSA

American Players Theatre duo wordlessly spurn virus
Apt Covid Video
Stay safe, wash your hands: APT's Marcus Truschinski shows us how it's done. (Video still courtesy of APT)

Given the restrictions of social distancing, I think we can forgive American Players Theatre actors Melisa Pereyra and Marcus Truschinski for not appearing in costume — or in fact, together in the same frame — in the playful public service announcement APT released on April 1 to encourage handwashing as a strategy to contain COVID-19.

Fans who watched Pereyra and Truschinski star in last summer’s tribal production of William Shakespeare’s “MacBeth” know the brief video’s punchline well before it hits, but it’s still a clever and effective way to get an important public health message across to a self-isolating audience.

There’s no doubt it would have been pretty awesome to see Pereyra re-enact the full “out, damned spot!” scene in full face-painted costume with Truschinski, with his hair done up in his character’s signature man-bun and clutching a spear. But again, we have to be realistic about safety and logistics.

But just think, if 20 seconds of serious handwashing, with orange scented soap, could have eradicated the Macbeths’ guilt over murdering King Duncan and usurping his throne, the entire history of Scotland could have been very different indeed.

Aaron R. Conklin covers the Madison-area theater scene for madisonmagazine.com.