The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0725 Tuesday, 30 October 2007
Date: Monday, 22 Oct 2007 23:10:55 -0400
Subject: Macbeth in Boston
With my usual disclaimer of rigorous objectivity, I recommend the
Actors' Shakespeare Project's all-women *Macbeth*, which runs in Studio
102 of the Boston University Fine Arts Building through Nov. 11.
Adrianne Krystansky has chosen to embrace, not evade the gender issues
presented by what at first approach may seem an intensely masculine
play; the actors playing male roles wear their hair long and dress in
snug-fitting clothes that show off breasts and hips, while the female
characters have head-coverings and form-concealing outfits. Marya Lowry
as Macbeth, Jacqui Parker as Banquo, and Bobbie Steinbach as Duncan and
the Porter wear their military, political, and domestic authority with
practiced ease; one result is to push Paula Plum toward a markedly
feminine reading of Lady M as middle-aged adolescent, still living in a
world of romantic dreams whose modulation into nightmares is
harrowing--it is a remarkable performance and perhaps worth seeing on
The Weird Sisters occupy an equally female but far more various and
vigorous realm; Macbeth's attempts to enter and master it contribute
powerfully to his own transit into self-destructive violence.
The production does pay particular attention to the play's emphasis on
the destruction of families, most sharply marked in the double-casting
of Sarah Newhouse as a Lady Macduff who could be as tough as her husband
if she had the chance, and a Macduff whose grief at the slaughter of his
family has nothing at all of the stoic in it.
The company plays with its customary clarity and elan, and the
production makes excellent use of the medieval oddities of the space.
For tickets and additional information, go to the company website,
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