Macbeth: Presented by the Houston Shakespeare Festival at Miller Outdoor Theatre, Houston, Texas

By Klett, Elizabeth | Shakespeare Bulletin, Spring 2005 | Go to article overview

Macbeth: Presented by the Houston Shakespeare Festival at Miller Outdoor Theatre, Houston, Texas


Klett, Elizabeth, Shakespeare Bulletin


Macbeth Presented by The Houston Shakespeare Festival at Miller Outdoor Theatre, Houston, Texas. July 30-August 13, 2004. Directed by Rob Bundy. Scenic and lighting design by John Gow. Costume design by Margaret Monostory Crowley. Sound design by Kelly Babb. Fights by Brian Byrnes. With Sonia Montoya (First Witch), Laurie Scott (Second Witch), Kelley Stoke (Third Witch), Ralph Ehntholt (Duncan, Old Siward, Rosse's Father), Brandon Hearnsberger (Donalbain), JJ Johnston (Malcolm), Kalob Martinez (Lennox), Ben Grimes (Captain, Seyton), Pablo Bracho (Rosse), Jason Douglas (Macbeth), Daniel Magill (Banquo), Sally Edmundson (Lady Macbeth), Al Fallick (Fleance, Young Siward), Rutherford Cravens (Porter, Doctor), Justin Doran (Macduff), Ivy Castle (Hecate, Lady Macduff, Gentlewoman), Harrison Kerr (Young Macduff), and others.

Like Akira Kurosawa's 1957 film Throne of Blood, Rob Bundy's production of Macbeth set Shakespeare's play in the context of a feudal Asian society. Yet unlike Kurosawa's film, this production was not trying to recreate a specific time or place; rather, Bundy borrowed from a variety of Asian cultures to construct an abstract world for the tragedy. The director's program notes indicated that the production incorporated several themes from Eastern philosophies: the Hindu idea of reality as an illusion, the Buddhist concept of Karma, and the Taoist emblem of life as a continual cycle. These themes were manifested in Bundy's production by the centrality of the three witches, the degenerative relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, and the closing tableau, which implied that the violence would begin again.

The witches, whose garb and dance-like movements linked them to Hinduism, were somewhat anomalous in the human world of the play, whose aesthetic was taken primarily from traditional Japanese and Chinese cultures. The warriors wore samurai armor and helmets and carried long spears and swords, and the gentry wore ornately embroidered Chinese brocades in rich jewel tones. The music was primarily Japanese flute and drums, which recalled the eerie scoring of Kurosawa's film. The setting conveyed the impression of a sumptuous Chinese palace, with carved walls in shades of green and copper, and large translucent windows. Yet the witches wore gauzy Indian draperies in bright yellow and burgundy over pants that were gathered at the ankles. They were all young, with long straight black hair pulled back into ponytails, and performed Hindu-influenced movements, often pressing their hands together in a prayer-like gesture or entwining their arms together over their heads.

The witches were central to this production, and their presence onstage was greatly expanded beyond the few scenes in which they appear in the play. The production opened by staging the battle against Macdonwald, and the witches gathered in the center of the action to watch. When they vanished during their encounter with Macbeth and Banquo in 1.3, they simply froze in place; the humans could no longer see them, but they remained onstage to watch the rest of the scene. They also presented and manipulated the dagger that Macbeth saw in 2.1; the First Witch held it out, taunting and tantalizing Macbeth by keeping it just out of his reach. The "gouts of blood" he saw on the blade were represented by a red silk scarf that the Second Witch draped over it.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Macbeth: Presented by the Houston Shakespeare Festival at Miller Outdoor Theatre, Houston, Texas
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.