This past week, we were really able to start bringing the play to action! We retrieved some props from Dr. Bezio’s office, including plastic swords, a crown, and the production posters, which the participants were very excited about.
We focused on blocking today, and the adults were very on top of their roles. We sat behind the “stage” in our Jepson room and did a run-through where the actors blocked themselves. Then we were able to give them some tips. Rachel, who is skilled in theater strategies, told them to raise their voices and to “cheat,” or face the audience at an angle in order to project their voices and not have their backs toward the audience. When you want to whisper (such as the doctor in Lady Macbeth’s hand-rubbing scene), you can direct your voice at the person you are “whispering” to and half-cover your hand. If you raise your voice but act in this way, you will still have the appearance of a whisper.
We then had a bit more of an in-depth discussion about certain scenes, deciding what emotions to portray based on the themes we want to present. For instance, we talked about how Malcolm would be nervous in our first scene when talking to Macduff about ascending to the throne. His hesitation plays out in this scene and he tests Macduff’s loyalty and honor. I think discussions like this are one of the real pleasures of hosting adults who are excited about Shakespeare.
Our Macbeth and Macduff were excited to start the sword fight in the second-to-last scene, but we are tabling that to work on the logistics next week. We finished with a final run-through of the blocking we had decided on, focusing on entrances and exits and stage directions. I think we made some real progress today in bringing the lines to life!