Tango Macbeth: Q&A with Director Nadine Patterson

Films about rehearsals rarely have the intensity of TANGO MACBETH. The blood, sweat and tears of the creation process are on full display. The work is an intricate puzzle: a play, within a documentary, within a narrative framework. During the two hottest weeks of the year, the cast and crew endure 100 degree heat while rehearsing and shooting Macbeth in the 100 year old Plays and Players Theater. An upscale reality television format mixed with surreal black and white interpretations of dramatic action, cause the viewer to rethink their notions of ‘play’, ‘documentary’, ‘casting’ and the filmmaking process. This film is great for lovers of Shakespeare and for people unfamiliar with his work. The multi-ethnic cast and crew create an earthy visceral interpretation of the text, which opens up the work for all audiences.

Here are some frequently asked questions about the film

Q: Did the rehearsal really happen like that, or was it scripted?

A: Initially in the early drafts of the script, the moments in between scenes of dramatic action in Macbeth were written. But when we shot those scenes they felt very fake and untrue. So I called the cast and crew together and explained how things would proceed. I told them to think of it like jazz. The tune is Macbeth and everyone gets their chance to riff on it. Three cameras were going at all times to capture the action on stage and in the dressing rooms. All of the witty  repartee is unscripted, and all of the angst is real.

3ShotArcadia_1920 copy***Q: Why did you choose to film the actors during rehearsal and make that a part of the film?

A: Economics! We could not afford to mount the entire film in the lavish style of the scenes at Arcadia, so we used those scenes as the actors’ imagining how the scene would unfold. We cut between the gritty rehearsal and the idealized way of how the actors imagine the scenes happening.

Q: I don’t do Shakespeare. Why should I see the film?

A: Shakespeare is for everyone! He is one of the greatest dramatist in the English language. Reading and experiencing Shakespeare enables us to learn about being human.

Q: How can I get past the language?

A: The actors are so good, it won’t matter. As long as you get the emotional intent of each scene, you will be fine.

Q: Did you know you would be in the film at such a key moment?

A: No. As the director I knew I would be caught on camera, but I did not think my role would be so dramatic.

Q: How can I see the film?

A: The film is available online ($7.99) with special bonuses and for DVD educational use ($49.95 + shipping). Click here to learn more and order you copy. Thank you for your time.

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