Voodoo Macbeth



synopsis

Produced out of the Lafayette Theatre in New York's Harlem, VOODOO MACBETH transported the action from Scotland to an island that resembled Haiti. The 150-strong cast were all Black and the majority had little previous acting experience. The director was none other than a 20-year-old Orsen Wells. The production was part of a government program called the Federal Theatre Project which was aimed at boosting employment and opportunities during the depression. It gave Black actors the opportunity to play "real" acting roles rather than crude racial stereotypes. It was said, "On opening night there were five blocks in which all traffic was stopped. You couldn't get near the theatre in Harlem. Everybody who was anybody in the Black or white world was there. And when the play ended there were so many curtain calls that finally they left the curtain open, and the audience came up on the stage to congratulate the actors." After an audience of 10,000 flocked to Macbeth, the production completed a 10-week run at the theatre and then toured America to sold-out, racially mixed audiences which alone was a feat when segregation in the theatre was still the norm. The production is celebrated as one of the most historically important stagings of Shakespeare's masterpiece.

cast

Inger Tudor, Jewell Wilson Bridges, Jeremy Tardy, June Schreiner, Daniel Kuhlman, Wrekless Watson, Ashli Haynes, Gary McDonald, Hunter Bodine

directed by

Dagmawi Abebe, Victor Alonso-Berbel, Roy Arwas, Hannah Bang, Christopher Beaton, Agazi Desta, Tiffany Kontoyiannis-Guillen, Zoë Alyce Salnave, Ernesto M. Sandoval, Sabina Vajrača

director's bio

The Directors of Voodoo Macbeth have a broad scope of achievements from BAFTA and Emmy nominations to HBO Semi-Finalists to extensive festival runs on feature-length documentaries to award-winning short films.

screenwriter

Agazi Desta, Jennifer Frazin, Morgan Milender, Molly Miller, Amri Rigby, Joel David Santner, Erica Sutherlin, Chris Tarricone

producer

Miles Alva, Jason Phillips, Xiaoyuan Xiao

runtime

108 minutes

country

US

category

Feature Narrative

website

Visit website