Macbeth Process Work


Kitty Swink, Linda Park & Bo Foxworth (photo by John Apicella)

So here is why I always wanted to be an Antaean.  Why I am thrilled I became one.  Process.  Table Work.  Sitting around with the smartest group of actors I know, talking, fighting, parsing, and laughing.  And we do it over every little word in a play.  Especially when that play was written by William Shakespeare.

We’ve had three long sessions so far.  Each session is 3 to 4 hours around a table, we’ve just reached Act III and we’ve barely scratched the surface.  There are old hands –  John Apicella, Jeff Nordling, Armin Shimerman – and folks just new to the Academy, Sam and Danielle and others.  Everyone has something to say.  Something to contribute.

Men are reading women’s roles, women reading men’s roles.  Old is young, young is old.  Who knew Fleance’s few lines would be so fun?

Armin Shimerman (photo by John Apicella)

So far, Liz Swain and John Apicella have led.  Armin begins tomorrow.  But it really isn’t leading.  It is more like herding cats.  Smart ones, but cats nonetheless.

We’ve talked a lot about bird imagery.  The play is rife with it:

A falcon, towering in her pride of place,

Was by a mousing owl hawk’d at, and kill’d.

The swooping hooting sounds that go with every mention of owls intrigue us and owls are everywhere.   We speak of the broken irregular lines that cascade whenever order begins to spin to chaos.   I keep seeing and commenting on Lady M speaking monosyllabically whenever she takes control and pushes her husband on to “catch the nearest way.”

Antaeans around the table for Macbeth tablework (photo by John Apicella)

We talk and we talk and we talk.  We also act.  I’ve been acting with some of these people for decades.  Okay, I am married to Armin and we did our first play together 30 years ago.  But others, too.  Larry Pressman and I did Dangerous Corner together probably 20 years ago.  We were in the Matrix Company and he was doubled with Greg Itzin, another wonderful Antaean.  I’ve been married, onstage, to a bunch of them. I’ve been sister, wife, mother, friend and enemy to others.  Yet they all surprise me, teach me and make me laugh.  It is this kind of work that makes us an ensemble.  This kind of history.

And one other thing.  There are treats.  Always.  Someone, or several someones, bring goodies.  From seaweed crisps to macadamia nut chocolate chip cookies.  It takes a lot of fuel to do these sessions.

Antaeus Member, Kitty Swink, reveals the inner workings of our company. Macbeth will be the 2nd show in our 2012 Season.  Tickets will be on sale soon.


1 Comment

  1. Your waxing poetic made me chortle with glee, and get a tad
    teary in our shared love of communal experience of the primal
    joy that stories define us, and “What’s It All About, Alfie?”
    Just worked briefly with Armin in a TBotanicum workshop ~
    he was FANTASTIC. I loved the works-in-progress series
    last summer, and hope to get to many more of them this 2012

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