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Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: February ::
Re: Macbeth Apparitions
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0280.  Thursday, 27 February 1997.

[1]     From:   Nancy N. Doherty <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 26 Feb 1997 10:27:30 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0253 Q: Macbeth Apparitions

[2]     From:   Billy Houck <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 26 Feb 1997 16:35:43 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0253 Q: Macbeth Apparitions


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Nancy N. Doherty <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
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Date:           Wednesday, 26 Feb 1997 10:27:30 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 8.0253 Q: Macbeth Apparitions
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0253 Q: Macbeth Apparitions

I directed a production 2 years ago, outdoors, tight budget.  I suggest
that given the circumstances of the supernatural[?], witches, Banquo's
ghost, etc.  that the idea of the apparitions be viewed in context as a
whole - taking in the fact that any availability of lighting effects are
nill.  Because the play is short, a black out by intermission was
impossible.  Effects for the cauldron scene were difficult.

Our set, costumes, were bases on Waite's Tarot deck - a house of cards
so to speak.  Our stage is typical of out door structures - a deck, two
side platforms of a central one.  Under the central platform were three
rotating panels that could be positioned according to the scenes.  For
that particular scene we covered the back of each panel [4x8] with
silver mylar so that light and image would reflect.  Armed head was
Macduff, bloody baby became bloody Duncan carrying two swaddlings in his
arms, crowned child was Fleance each turned in sequence.  When the
witches say "Show, show, show"  each turned back on their panels with a
full revolve to reveal Banquo holding a mirrored reflecting ball [garden
gazing variety].  His position was reflected off all three panel, light
bounced everywhere - hence the line of kings.

This solution allowed for easy entrances and exits and voice over with
dubbing provided voices.

On the women in Shakespeare note - my Lady was also played pregnant and
showing.  It allowed us to emphasize her resolve, gave a twist to "bring
forth", turned her faint into a miscarriage, and added meaning to
"barren septre" and "he has no children".  We aslo played it in the
sleepwalking scene where she cradled it singing "Thane of Fife"....

Your friend may contact me directly at my e-mail address.

Hope this may help.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Billy Houck <
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Date:           Wednesday, 26 Feb 1997 16:35:43 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 8.0253 Q: Macbeth Apparitions
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0253 Q: Macbeth Apparitions

When I directed Macbeth 2 summers ago, I was able to borrow a video
projector. We just made a movie of each of the apparitions, as well as
Banquo and that floating dagger, and projected them right onto someone's
shirt or a handy tapestry. When Macbeth was sick of seeing Banquo and
screams "No more enough!", he tore down the tapestry.

Billy Houck
Eagle Theatre

I've also seen outdoor productions where the "visions" were all in the
"cauldron" and Macbeth practically had his whole head down inside the
thing.  If you can act it, it works.
 

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