Seattle Rep’s MAC BETH: Beyond the Theatre

Seattle Repertory Theatre presents MAC BETH, adapted from Shakespeare’s play and directed by Erica Schmidt, from May 18 to June 17, 2018. Librarians at Seattle Public Library created this list of books, music and films to enhance your experience of the show.

In MAC BETH, playwright/director Erica Schmidt reimagines Shakespeare’s classic tale of intrigue and poisonous ambition with an all-female cast, as seven young women gather after school to retell the story of Macbeth. Here are a few other books that reframe the story with a focus on female characters and perspectives.

Lady Macbeth by Susan King. Drawing from historical sources rather than the play, King portrays Lady Macbeth as an indomitable woman in this richly detailed novel.

Women of Will: Following the Feminine in Shakespeare’s Plays by Tina Packer. Shakespeare director and actor Packer explores and unpacks Shakespeare’s conception of gender roles in this funny, fierce and fascinating study of his female characters, including the infamous Lady Macbeth.

Toil and Trouble by Mairghread Scott. The three witches take center stage in this inventive, beautifully drawn graphic novel. Written and illustrated by an all-female team, “Toil and Trouble” highlights women’s voices in a fashion similar to MAC BETH.

If you haven’t read Macbeth since high school and need to brush up on your Shakespeare before you see the play, don’t despair: the Library has several different editions. I like the Folger Library edition for its compact size and well-researched, informative commentary.

No time to read? There’s several excellent film adaptations, including the 1978 Royal Shakespeare Company production starring Ian McKellen as Macbeth and Judi Dench as Lady Macbeth, an award-winning, bloody and brutal adaptation of Rupert Goold’s 2007 stage production at the Chichester Festival Theatre starring Patrick Stewart, and a 2015 film starring Michael Fassbender as Macbeth and Marion Cotillard as Lady Macbeth.

For more suggested reading, listening and viewing, check out this resource list.

          ~ posted by Abby

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