Theatrical superstition holds that if a cast member utters the name "Macbeth" outside of Shakespeare's scripted lines, the production will suffer everything from dropped lines to on-stage accidents. But there are some who believe the curse is more hype than horror.
"It's a self-fulfilling prophecy," says James Porter, who directs Arizona Curriculum Theater's Macbeth. "The worst thing that happened in rehearsals was that a cheap mirror got broken," he quips.
Porter's version takes a few liberties with The Bard's tragedy, incorporating live music from Renaissance band Bartholomew Faire, using modern costumes, and trimming the play down to ninety minutes. Gone are the swordfights, though Porter's clever substitution might appeal even more to the Reality TV generation.
"Invariably, weapons go flying with Shakespeare plays, so in this small space we pantomime the fighting. Instead, the blood appears magically,” he explains. “It has a lot of the shock factor."