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Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: February ::
Re: Macbeth Apparitions
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0260.  Saturday, 22 February 1997.

[1]     From:   Mark Mann <
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        Date:   Saturday, 22 Feb 1997 03:08:28 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0253 Q: Macbeth Apparitions

[2]     From:   Ron Ward <
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        Date:   Saturday, 22 Feb 1997 22:36:10 +1300 (NZDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0253  Q: Macbeth Apparitions


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mark Mann <
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Date:           Saturday, 22 Feb 1997 03:08:28 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 8.0253 Q: Macbeth Apparitions
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0253 Q: Macbeth Apparitions

My company, The Arden Shakespeare Company, is currently presenting
Macbeth here in Columbus, Ohio (till next Sat.)...and we solved the
apparition problem in the most simple way - we didn't have them!  The
ground level thrust stage of our theatre is very intimate, and I grouped
the weird sisters around Mac (one on each side, and first witch standing
behind, crouched over him so that her  hair switches his face)...at the
appearance of each apparition, a different witch takes on the character,
as if from channeling, while Macbeth stares past the steam rising from
the cauldron, into the audience, which is about four feet from him. When
the future kings show up, Mac simply reacts to seeing them, as do the
witches in their own ways...he already describes them, so why see them?

Another production I directed, which was a modern dress version, Mac and
the girls were down front and I rear-projected slides, through fog, of
Scottish coats of arms, on which appeared angry faces and arms with
swords clutched in their fists...the rest of the show also had slides,
details taken from period woodcuts ( brick and stone walls for
interiors...stylized trees taken from old tapestries, etc, for Birnam)
but the actors never looked at them...but this doesn't help you, I
suppose for outdoor staging...especially if you start in the daylight
hours, as we used to at Actor's Summer Theatre in Columbus. I suppose
you could do it w/o the spirits, and use sound and lights to convey
them, which is more theatrical, and gives your crew something useful to
do.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ron Ward <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Saturday, 22 Feb 1997 22:36:10 +1300 (NZDT)
Subject: 8.0253  Q: Macbeth Apparitions
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0253  Q: Macbeth Apparitions

I don't know about bloodcurdling but I have seen open air Shakespeare
using shadows projected on a white sheet from the back. This can be
disguised as a window or mirror (inside apparitions) or part of the
skyline or other natural outdoor features. It could even be totally
hidden by moveable trees in the outdoors and be revealed by an unearthly
wind. If you want to be a bit more ambitious you could use proper back
projected film onto the screen or a combination with a screen lit by red
spotlights etc.
 

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