"Surprisingly similar to directing for the stage": Nicola Shannon on directing Macbeth!
Coming up this week, we are presenting a unique theatrical offering, live-streamed directly to your home, called Pageant Wagon Theatre!
We asked Nicola Shannon, director of Macbeth, to give us some insight into the show and what we can expect to see.
1. Tell us a little bit about Macbeth. What is it about?
It's a story about a couple who, after a run-in with some prophesying witches, are emboldened to pursue their ambitions by any means necessary. Will this lead to their happiness?
2. Are there any themes in the show that stand out to you?
Macbeth explores how acting against our integrity impacts our mental health. It also asks: does fate control us or do we control it?
3. Tell us a little bit about the cast of the show. Who's going to be on screen?
We have a talented and diverse cast, very committed and enthused to try this new medium. Arne Larsen is playing the title role of Macbeth. Laura Kehler steps in as his wife, Lady Macbeth. Laura and the rest of the cast, Angel Duran-Heon, Cara Staforelli and Jennifer Mamchur, all play the varied ensemble roles surrounding the Macbeths. There are a lot of costume changes!
4. What is it like directing a show "for the screen" instead of "for the stage". Are there any differences?
Mostly, it is surprisingly similar to directing for the stage because we are looking for relationships between people; we want characters really talking to each other and trying to affect each other to achieve their goals. This can be done very effectively through tone and body language.
The main difference is that the variety of blocking is a little limited. Especially in working with Shakespeare, we needed to find some signals to show the audience when characters are talking to themselves, each other, or a crowd. I think we've achieved some very workable signals in that regard!
5. What can we expect to see when we tune in from home?
The magic of travelling to different locations via green screen, a rich language and soundscape, and a more close up view of your favourite actors than you can usually expect!