Gender blind Macbeth to hit Spartan stage this winter

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The lights dim—witches chant, ghosts haunt their killers and men fall into madness. Enter Macbeth, renowned general and ruler, a character normally played by a man. White Station’s production of Shakespeare’s classic, however, has a more modern take, as Macbeth and many other traditionally male characters are all being portrayed by women.

Gender blind casting, a term used to describe plays in which the gender of an actor does not determine what parts they can play, is common in a high school production in which there is often a lack of male actors. Nonetheless, applying this practice to Macbeth makes for some interesting power shifts.

One major change is the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, who will be portrayed as a same sex couple in the Spartan production. Senior Milagro Garnica, who will be playing Banquo, a nobleman and close friend of Macbeth, sees this as a positive addition to the show.

“You don’t really see a lot of female leads, especially in classical pieces like Macbeth, so it’s good to see the dynamic between the two,” Garnica said.

Brandon Lawrence, theater teacher and director at White Station, is also in favor of the female portrayal, both for practical and artistic reasons.

“It’s a take that hasn’t been done before, at least not in a high school. White Station is very much in favor of the LGBTQ+ community, but we haven’t reflected that in the shows we’ve done,” Lawrence said.

Milla Meiman (10), who will be playing Macbeth, enjoys the flexibility she has when working with the role.

“I don’t have to act masculine, I don’t have to worry about stage makeup or anything,” Meiman said. “I feel like I can just get out there and sort of do the role the way I would play any other role.”

Emlyn Polatty
Sophomores Abbye Friedman, Dinah Patt, Merrick Miller and Nila Manickavasagam alongside senior Maya Saxe work out placement issues in a key group scene. Out of fourteen traditionally male characters in Macbeth, eleven are being played by female actors in the Spartan production.

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