Director Sam Gold shares what he loves most about Macbeth, why it stands out from other Shakespeare tragedies he’s directed, and how his ideas about the play changed over time. His current Broadway production, starring Daniel Craig and Ruth Negga, runs through July 10.
Posts Tagged: Macbeth
While working on “The Dark Queens: The Bloody Rivalry that Forged the Medieval World,” Shelley Puhak stumbled across a connection between her subjects and Shakespeare. Her book is a dual biography of Brunhild and Fredegund, two queens who, as long-term regents for their underage male relatives, ruled over most of sixth-century Western Europe. Fredegund was born a slave; Brunhild was a Visigoth princess. Despite their vastly different backgrounds, they ended up as sisters-in-law and political rivals who negotiated with emperors and popes, revitalized cities, revamped tax policy, and conducted a decades-long civil war—against each other. Echoes of one conflict in that war, the 593 Battle of Droizy, have been preserved in Macbeth’s final act, when Birnam Wood arrives at Dunsinane.
A movie that honors a play’s theatricality: That’s what director Joel Coen said he wanted for The Tragedy of Macbeth, his new adaptation of the Scottish play. The result is a brilliant interpretation that’s my favorite kind of Shakespeare: it combines the artifice of theater with the techniques of film, especially the use of the… Continue Reading »
This January, new productions kick off at the Atlanta Shakespeare Company and Cincinnati Shakespeare Company. Plus, streaming productions of Macbeth, a podcast returns, and a new audio play.
How do Shakespeare’s plays reflect a life filled with plague outbreaks, asks Austin Tichenor — and do we see his plays in new ways now?
A spectacular 1936 Federal Theatre Project production of “Macbeth” in New York City employed hundreds of black actors and theater technicians. It was financed by the Federal Theatre Project, a controversial part of the federal government’s New Deal programs to provide jobs for Americans.
Shakespeare’s witches haven’t always terrified audiences. For a century and more – from the late 17th to the early 19th centuries – actors played these parts for laughs. During the period in which Shakespeare became “the Bard”, the witches in fact brought a large dose of comedy to Shakespeare’s bloody tragedy. The origins of this surprising, but long-lasting, stage interpretation go back to 1664.
As the play’s climactic battle approaches, Macbeth is told of his wife’s death. He responds, “She should have died hereafter. There would have been a time for such a word.” And then he launches into one of Shakespeare’s most famous soliloquies, about the fleeting and fragile nature of life. Can you correctly order these lines from Act 5, Scene 5?
American actress Charlotte Cushman was a 19th-century theatrical icon, known for playing traditionally male roles like Romeo and Hamlet. She was not the only actress of her time to play these parts, but her style was uniquely assertive and athletic. However, her breakout acting role was Lady Macbeth.
“Our premise is that Macbeth is Shakespeare’s supernatural horror thriller, and should be done as violently and amazingly as a modern supernatural horror movie,” wrote magician Teller (of Penn & Teller) about the memorable 2008 production of Macbeth at Folger Theatre that he and Helen Hayes Award-winning director Aaron Posner co-conceived and directed. The production… Continue Reading »