Directed by Dustin Brown
from Dustin Brown
“I can no other answer make but thanks,
And thanks; and ever thanks; and oft good turns
Are shuffled off with such uncurrent pay”
— Twelfth Night
I do not have sufficient words to express my incredible gratitude to the small army behind Macbeth. In a time of turmoil, we all came to this project at different stages. For most of the cast, they found out about their roles in the tumult of a vicious election. On January 6th, Michael Dias and I spoke of Macbeth as we watched an insurrection in America. We had our first full cast rehearsal on the eve of an inauguration.
For the design team, they began shaping Macbeth in the weeks before we entered into our coronavirus pandemic. Sara Keller, Grayson Basina, Piper Kirchhofer, Abby Coppock, and Alyssa Embry fully conceived of a very different production than the one you’re about to watch, a production that relied on stage tricks rather than camera tricks. When it became clear that our production would never see a live audience, they re-imagined and retooled their art for film. Our team grew to include Jacob Midkiff, whose prowess behind the camera and brilliance in the editing studio cannot be overstated.
For myself, I discovered Macbeth in high school, almost 20 years ago. The notes in the margins of that well read copy are a reminder that I saw parallels between Scotland’s bloody tyrant and America’s leaders even then. Years of theatre education have left me with notebooks and binders full of specific concepts for Macbeth, but none of those concepts felt right in a year where time slowed and we found ourselves locked in place.
This production of Macbeth breaks free of time and place, living somewhere in the creative team’s collective imagination. This cast brought new life to words written more than four centuries ago, proving that women can be warriors and royalty should not preclude color. Conceived in a time of tyranny, produced under a pandemic, and — finally — born as we look for a brighter tomorrow, I hope you enjoy our Macbeth.