Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 1994 :: December ::
Re: *Macbeth*
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0991.  Thursday, 8 December 1994.
 
(1)     From:   Matthew Henerson <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 7 Dec 1994 12:09:40 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0982  *Macbeth* Qs
 
(2)     From:   Christine Mack Gordon <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 7 Dec 94 14:23:07 -0500
        Subj:   Macbeth CD-ROM
 
(3)     From:   Helen Ostovich <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 7 Dec 1994 17:27:38 +0001 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0982 *Macbeth* Qs
 
(4)     From:   Kimberley K. Lynn Bridgman <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 7 Dec 1994 14:54:37 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0982 *Macbeth* Qs
 
(5)     From:   Richard C. Jones III <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 07 Dec 1994 18:22:01 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0985 Cross-gender casting
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Matthew Henerson <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 7 Dec 1994 12:09:40 -0500
Subject: 5.0982  *Macbeth* Qs
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0982  *Macbeth* Qs
 
Dear Daniel J. Colvin:
 
Is your director considering cross-gender casting because he needs parts
for women in a male-heavy play, or does he feel that *Macbeth* has
something to say about gender roles which cross-gender casting might help
emphasize?  If he to needs to use more women (why choose *Macbeth*?), the
simple answer is to let women play the characters as men.  His character
actresses will thank him heartily for it.  Its hard enough for women to
find work in classical rep.  Its particularly hard for women who conform
less than perfectly to some unimaginative casting dirctor's notion of what
constitutes a marketable Juliet.
 
If, on the other hand, he feels that cross gender-casting advances his view
of the play, it sounds like he needs to be clearer with you as to what that
view is.  I agree with you that the play as written is gender-dependent,
but gender-bending could tweak it in all kinds of interesting ways.  If
Duncan is a woman, is she--like Elizabeth--the child of a sonless father
negotiating an essentially patriarchal power structure by manipulating
popular perceptions of feminity, or is Scotland actually a matriarchy, and
is Macbeth's userpation a sexual as well as a political coup?  If Banquo is
a woman, does her status as somehow less glorious than Macbeth ("Noble
Banquo who has no less deserved, and must be known no less to have done
so." or something like that) make her jealous of her partner's success and
quicker to suspect his treason?  Does Lady M regard Banquo as a sexual
rival (I've seen it implied with a male Banquo), and how does that affect
her reaction to her exclusion from Macbeth's plan to murder Banquo?  How
does a sexual tension figure in Macbeth's need to get rid of his fighting
partner.  Perhaps Banquo is the better warrior, and Macbeth gets all the
credit because he is male.  There are all sorts of possibilities, and
schools are wonderful places to play with them.  Just as long as the
director understands the implications of his casting decisions.
 
Please do write, by the way, and tell us/me what you decide to do.
 
Sincerely,
Matt
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Christine Mack Gordon <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 7 Dec 94 14:23:07 -0500
Subject:        Macbeth CD-ROM
 
The lastest issue of *American Theater* magazine has a "holiday sampler" in
which they mention a *Macbeth* CD-ROM that is a "personal library on the play,"
which includes the entire text, analysis, reference tools, a full audio
performance by the RSC with clips from other performances, and a karaoke that
allows a reader to perform scenes from the play with professional actors. This
must be the A.C. Braunmuller CD-ROM that Matthew Henerson mentioned in his post
Monday, but does anyone know how to order it? Thanks for your help.
 
Chris Gordon
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Helen Ostovich <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 7 Dec 1994 17:27:38 +0001 (EST)
Subject: 5.0982 *Macbeth* Qs
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0982 *Macbeth* Qs
 
Robert LePage directed a MACBETH at the University of Toronto a couple of
years ago, using cross-gendered casting, including Macbeth and Lady
Macbeth.  The production was not particularly successful for many
reasons, but the cross-gendered casting was not one of them.  The
aggressive female Macbeth and Macduff etc created a weird world of magic
gone awry, and the male Lady Macbeth and Lady Macduff emphasized almost
involuntarily the subservience and helplessness of the gender they
represented.  In other words, the cross-gender casting made it quite
clear that Macbeth was responsible for his choices, and that his wife may
have enticed him, but only in the way he was already going.  Lady
Macbeth's subsequent madness seemed to be a predictable result of her
lack of control over her husband and herself, once the regicide had been
committed.  I found the cross-gender casting unnerving and consequently
enlightening for this play in particular.
 
Helen Ostovich
McMaster University
 
(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kimberley K. Lynn Bridgman <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 7 Dec 1994 14:54:37 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 5.0982 *Macbeth* Qs
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0982 *Macbeth* Qs
 
Dan--regarding your question about which characters to cast cross-gender
in _Macbeth_--why not cross-gender all of the roles to see what happens?
I think it would be fascinating to see and hear Lady Macbeth's "unsex me"
speech from a man.  The challenge of making that speech work, and other
particularly gender-based ones, would literally re-create the play for
both the actors and your modern audience.... Anyway, it's something to
think about, particularly since you are thinking along the lines of
cross-gender casting anyway.
 
(5)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard C. Jones III <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 07 Dec 1994 18:22:01 -0600 (CST)
Subject: 5.0985 Cross-gender casting
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0985 Cross-gender casting
 
An easy rule about whether to gender-bend:
 
If you have to ask, no.
 
Rick Jones

 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
 

Other Messages In This Thread

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.