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.

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