Nearly 400 years before the publication of J.K. Rowling's first Harry Potter book, William Shakespeare spellbound audiences with another story about witches, prophecies, overarching ambition, madness and murder.

"The Tragedy of Macbeth" portrays the moral decline of a Scottish general who hungered to be king — at any cost — and his downfall still resonates with audiences today.


Superstitious members of the theater community believe that speaking the name "Macbeth" inside the theater will result in real-life tragedy and instead refer to Shakespeare's work as "The Scottish Play." Audiences may hear it referred to both ways.

Marriotts Ridge Theatre will present "The Scottish Play — Macbeth" Thursday, Nov. 15, through Saturday, Nov. 17, at 7 p.m., and on Sunday, Nov. 18, at 3 p.m. In keeping with Marriotts Ridge tradition, the Marriott's Ridge High School Art Honor Society will host a Shakespearean tea prior to the matinee, at 1:30 p.m.

Play tickets cost $10 and are available through three outlets — online at, at school during lunch shifts (10:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.) the week of Nov. 12, and at the door.

Tea tickets cost an additional $10 and include a handmade teacup to take home. Call the school at 410-313-5568 to reserve these tickets, or email

To learn more about Marriotts Ridge Theatre, go to The school address is 12100 Woodford Drive, in Marriottsville.

Holiday merchandise appeared in stores well before Halloween, and now the preparation is beginning in our community.

St. James United Methodist Church will host its fifth annual "Shop for the Holidays Craft and Vendor Show" on Saturday, Nov. 17, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., at 12470 Old Frederick Road (Route 99), in Marriottsville. The event will feature handmade crafts, vendor tables, and a bake sale, as well as a pancake breakfast from 8 to 11 a.m. and hot dogs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Vendors who are interested in participating should email For more information about the church, go to

This Saturday, Nov. 10, marks the date for the Howard County Conservancy's free monthly Wonder Talk. Come on out at 10 a.m. to hear naturalist Diane Ference talk about "Cookin' for the Birds." Participants will learn how to create unique bird feeders from collected and purchased materials, and a limited number will get to make their own bird treats to take home. (Note: Birdseed mixes are processed in facilities that contain nuts.)

The Conservancy lies between Woodstock Road and Bethany Lane, at 10520 Old Frederick Road (Route 99), in Woodstock. Go to to learn more, or call 410.465.8877.