NARRATOR/MACBETH- Thane of Glamis
WITCH 1 and WITCH 2- speak in "witch voices" and snarl
WITCH 3- smiles a lot and says dumb things
ROSS- from the television series "Friends"
DUNCAN- the king
BANQUO- Macbeth's friend
CAPTAIN- wounded soldier
MALCOLM- the relatively interesting prince
DONALBAIN- the boring prince
(Actors wait at the edges of the stage to make entries and exits as quickly as possible. NARRATOR/MACBETH stands downstage. He will guide and participate in the action while reading from a thick book. At any time the act is mentioned, the roman numeral is spelled out. This is "Act Eye.")
Macbeth! Act I!
(Enter DUNCAN, MALCOM, DONALBAIN. You can tell DUNCAN is the king, because she wears a Burger King crown. Enter CAPTAIN, who sits apart from the others.)
A battlefield. Enter Duncan, king of Scotland, his sons Malcolm and Donalbain.
I'm in this scene, but I don't have any lines. That's fine, because I'm not very interesting.
(DONALBAIN sits, stares into the distance for the remainder of the scene.)
Enter a bloody soldier, near death.
Man, it sucks fighting against foreign kings and my own lords. Thank goodness this battle is almost over: soon I'll be able to go back to trusting everyone, even people who have much to gain from my death.
Who's this wounded guy?
He's a sergeant.
Actually, according to the Folio text I'm a captain.
Right. How's Macbeth doing?
He's incredibly brave in battle. It's going to be a terrible disappointment to watch him talk to himself and get pushed around by his wife for the rest of the play.
Thank you, soldier.
I'm a captain, which makes me the same rank as Macbeth and Banquo. And I protected your son in battle--your interesting son.
Okay-- Then you shall have your wounds tended by the cleanest and most gentle surgeons in medieval Scotland.
(MALCOLM drags CAPTAIN away.)
(being dragged out) Nooooooo!
I'm going to miss that Sergeant.
(running in) Great news! There was some confusing scandal over the misuse of a university book loan program, and thirteen of Norway's soldiers were suspended from the battle! We won, fifty-six to nothing! (1)
Excellent. Go tell Macbeth he's the new Thane of Cawdor. Wait! Tell the weird sisters, then tell Macbeth.
Why do you always tell everything to the weird sisters first?
Because I trust them so much. I looked in to their eyes and got a sense of their souls.(2)
That's a stupid way for a leader to pick his allies, but okay.
(WITCHES enter, sit on the floor. 1 and 2 look like they want to die. 3 is cheery and oblivious.)
The blasted heath: Hubbard park after the bars have closed. Three weird sisters, members in the sorority of Eta Epsilon Double-Hockey-Sticks.
I am never drinking another Jägerbomb as long as I live.
I don't know whose shoes I'm wearing.
I have a human thumb!
(This is true, but WITCH 3 lifts the wrong hand, displaying her own thumb. She realizes her mistake, shows someone else's thumb in her other hand, smiles.
Look, sorority girls!
(disappointed) Oh, they're ugly sorority girls. Well, at least someone else got them drunk for us.
Macbeth, Thane of Cawdor!
(WITCHES exeunt left.)
(ROSS enters right.)
Macbeth, you're the new Thane of Cawdor!
Cool! Banquo, let us assume that the weird sisters are on our side. Ugly fortune-telling sorority girls would never mislead us.
Ross from "Friends", let's whisper to each other so Macbeth has time to speak asides to the audience.
(aside) It would be so much easier to kill Duncan and make myself king of Scotland if I weren't such a coward.
I'm not gay. I know that someone in the audience is trying to read homosexuality into my character, but they shouldn't. My confused and violent relationships with other men, my lack of children, my late-night visits with beings who may or may not be transvestites, my masculine and sexually remote wife--
None of these things should be interpreted as indications of my repressed sexuality.
(smacks BANQUO's ass) To Inverness!
(exeunt BANQUO and ROSS. Enter LADY MACBETH)
King Duncan is coming here, to Inverness Castle, to celebrate his birthday. Sneak into his room when he's asleep and steal his birthday cake.
Also, kill him.
I like cake, but what if I get caught taking it? What if I fall asleep without brushing my teeth, and the cake residue in my mouth contributes to tartar and cavities? What if the sugar in the cake overwhelms my liver and I become diabetic? What if the cake is all dry and crumbly inside?
Also, I'm still kind of undecided on the whole regicide thing.
Hey, I would kill a defenseless baby if you asked me to. I'm only asking you to kill a king.
Your puzzling analogy reminds me, why don't we have any children? I'd like to have children, provided none of them are girls.
Because you're afraid of women. Now do what I say or I'll show you my underwear.
(running away) Aaaaah!
(Exit LADY MACBETH.)
So ends Act I.
Will these crooks capture the King's cake and crown?
Find out next week--same medieval time, same Scottish channel--in Act II of Macbeth.
(1) This is a reference to the University of Iowa's football victory over Ball State September 3, 2005. This is the only known football joke in the work of either Shakespeare or Hahn.
(2) George W. Bush of Russian President Vladimir Putin in June 2001: "I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy and we had a very good dialogue. I was able to get a sense of his soul."
Performed by Adam Hahn with Aprille Clarke as Lady Macbeth; Jesse Blaine, Sean Shatto, and Jamal River as Witches; Michael Tabor as Ross; Sadie Smith as Duncan; Jonathan Shelton as Banquo; Eli Wilkinson as Captain; Denny Crall as Malcolm; and Patrick Ashcraft as Donalbain.