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Home :: Archive :: 2007 :: March ::
Alaskan Macbeth
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0190  Monday, 12 March 2007

From: 		Hardy M. Cook <
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Date: 		Monday, March 12, 2007
Subject: 	Alaskan Macbeth

From: The Washington Post

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/11/AR2007031101554.html

'Macbeth,' North by Northwest
By Nelson Pressley
Special To The Washington Post
Monday, March 12, 2007; C01

The Southeastern Alaskan language Tlingit -- pronounced "klinkit" -- 
isn't especially full of sound and fury in the "Macbeth" of Juneau's 
Perseverance Theatre. But that's because in this production, which has 
been carefully imbued with Tlingit symmetry and ceremony by director 
Anita Maynard-Losh, the most bloody-minded speeches are rendered in English.

A political indictment of murderous ambition as a white man's game? 
That's seems like a reasonable conclusion as Jake Waid's Macbeth 
smoothly speaks Tlingit to his brethren, then turns to the audience and 
confides in English, "Stars, hide your fires; let not night light see my 
black and deep desires."

Yet it's not overt politics so much as two-faced secrecy that seems to 
be the issue in this faintly studious show, which fits beautifully 
inside the round Rasmuson Theater at the Smithsonian's National Museum 
of the American Indian. (Pinpoint starlight even glows from the ceiling 
that undulates over the audience.) Shiftiness is hard-wired to this 
easy-to-follow bilingual format. Keep an eye on the convenient English 
surtitles of Johnny Marks's Tlingit translation for most of the cast, 
then get the straight hard plots and paranoia in English from the 
scheming couple.

It's nicely conceived but not very powerful. Shakespeare's play 
overflows with emotional turbulence, but the acting is seldom intriguing 
or complicated. Some of this is indeed a matter of translation, since 
many (if not all) of the actors apparently had to learn Tlingit for this 
show.

[ . . . ]

Macbeth, by William Shakespeare. Translated into Tlingit by Johnny 
Marks. Conceived and directed by Anita Maynard-Losh. Costumes, Nikki 
Morris; lighting design, Tobin D. Clark; sound design, Albert McDonnell. 
With Ishmael Hope, Richard Atoruk/Qaggun, Lance Twitchell, George Holly, 
Lily Hudson, Austin Tagaban and Sakara "Sky" Dunlap. Approximately 2 
hours 15 minutes. Through March 18 at the National Museum of the 
American Indian, Fourth Street and Independence Avenue SW. Call 
202-357-3030 or visit http://www.ResidentAssociates.org



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