Notes on Macbeth


We have a truly remarkable collaboration going! First of all, the cast itself, a wonderful team of actors and artists is there every day, working together on the scenes, on the set, on costumes and sound. Very different from the usual compartmentalizing of these tasks–and the results are stunningly effective, considering our tiny budget–and emerge from the story itself since it’s the participants who are creating the whole thing. The scenes of violence are well on their way, with the aid of a formidable arsenal of weapons practically donated by Shakespeare & Co, and they are terrible and heartbreaking. The story itself seems to be showing us exactly what to do in the Hall, which is slowly transforming into a Macbeth landscape–and we end each evening feeling regenerated by the privilege of working together on this compact perfection of a play. We are way ahead of schedule and will be starting a long series of run-throughs soon, so we should be in very good shape by opening.

On top of that, John Sutton, an amazing photographer, has been shooting the entire process from the first reading, and we’ll end up with a complete and beautiful record of the process, which we are thinking of turning into an on-demand book that could serve all kinds of purposes. David DeVries will be shooting video… This is the theater working at its absolute best!

Notes: Macbeth

Notes on Macbeth

It’s been a great pleasure working on this play with this wonderfully generous cast and crew. We found that the play’s famous darkness is balanced by how beautifully the story is told–and that buoyed us through the long nights of rehearsal.


In this production we decided to focus on the inner lives of the Macbeths themselves. This allowed us to double- and triple-cast all the other parts and relocate some of the scenes in the bedroom and in Macbeth’s fitful dreams. Once he gives in to his wife’s terrible need, he will “sleep no more.” As the events unfold, it becomes clear that something as commonplace as a good night’s sleep is worth more than all the kingdoms in the world. I wanted the Macbeths to be young, in a time of life when sexual emotion is at its strongest, so that the core of the problem resides right down the middle of the marriage bed. If grotesque ambition is a disease that leads not only to general chaos but to pain and madness, as is the case in Macbeth, it might do well to look deeper, through the lucid eyes of the perpetrator, to find the roots of the disease. And he speaks of it clearly, right to us, regularly throughout the course of his downfall. Thank you for giving him someone who will listen.