Brooklyn Theater Workshop’s inaugural production:
* appearing courtesy of Actor’s Equity Association
We wanted to get down to the bits and bones that have given the story of Macbeth life for more than 4 centuries. What did the play say in 1606 and how can we express that sentiment in 2019? While the themes of ambition and greed seemed over-clear, those themes are bound to the larger portrait of a man whose entitlement whose violence develops from his over-entitlement and disillusionment—the failed promise of greatness that never belonged to him. Today we understand this as privilege and the mismatched expectations of what is fair in a world that is trying it's damnedest to rebalance the scales of power. It seems that this entitlement, and the struggle by those who would be enveloped by or crushed beneath it, are the core of the Macbeth story.
All of this has been cooking and percolating. We've shared and discussed (read: argued, tenuously agreed, lovingly reconciled). Ideas cross-bred and were contaminated. They evolved and changed. A small, lowercase we became a bigger, official We and We started talking about what getting this play on its feet might look like. How do we choose which elements to highlight in order to light the whole picture? In our production, We have chosen to cast Macbeth and Lady Macbeth with white actors, while the rest of the cast is comprised entirely of people of color. Why? There's a chance to get at a concept that lies right at the edge of conversations about power: intersectionality. The matrix of power is messy, the scales are weighted, but unpredictably, and any balance is an illusion. So the question becomes: From where you're sitting, who's in control?