Macbeth, Kabuki-Style

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Arts Toolkit: Drama Video Clips

Scene from Macbeth, Kabuki-Style



In this scene from Shakespeare, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are plotting the murder of Duncan. Chicago actors Michael Goldberg and Barbara Robertson perform the two roles. Shozo Sato staged this adaptation.

Suggested Uses:

  • Identify and analyze elements of production and performance.
  • Introduce characteristics of Kabuki theater for students to identify and analyze, focusing on how diverse cultures, periods, and styles affect drama or how Kabuki is a reflection of Japanese culture and tradition.
  • Compare/contrast Kabuki theater to Western theater.
  • Analyze Kabuki as a collaborative art form involving the visual arts, dance, music, and drama.
  • Analyze the function and meaning of Kabuki makeup, fan movements, vocalization, and acting styles as described in the appropriate segments and applied to the Macbeth performance.
  • Pair with the Hamlet scene on the Performance Excerpts videotape/DVD to compare and contrast characteristics of Shakespearean and Kabuki drama.
  • Use as a writing prompt, along with the “Responding to Drama” guide, to analyze and evaluate the scene from Macbeth performed Kabuki-style.

For more information:

(These links may leave the Arts Toolkit.)

See the Kabuki in the Classroom guide in the Drama Arts Toolkit binder.


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