The first 2017-18 Frame/Works series talk of the HWS Theatre program will kick off with a discussion of Shakespeare’s Macbeth.
Guest theatre scholar Katie Mallinson will present the talk, “Fair/Foul: The Eroticism of Fear in Shakespeare’s Macbeth,” at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 10 in Williams 201.
During Frame/Works, Mallinson will discuss how fear and desire are – within the body – two sides of the same limbic coin. This physiological confusion, Mallinson says, can rewire us to psychological confusion: we fear that which we desire and desire that which we fear, a paradox central to the seductive tragedy of Macbeth.
For centuries, artists have exploited this paradox to create “The Scottish Play,” a vivid afterlife painted from the fears and fantasies of subsequent generations.
Analyzing Shakespeare’s drama through a sociopolitical lens, the Frame/Works talk will explore the Weird Sisters as the embodiment of the fear/desire paradox and their roles as catalysts or creators of evil, the evolution of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth from murderous villains to alluring antiheroes, and how our own susceptibility to the fear/desire paradox transforms the original text into a manifesto of vaulting ambition that is as attractive as it is terrifying.
With a focus on key productions and historic influences, “Fair/Foul” will look at the irresistible charm of Macbeth, and why audiences love to fear it.
The talk is free and open to the public. Frame/Works attendees are encouraged to attend Macbeth that evening. Tickets are available at the Gearan Center for the Performing Arts Box Office (Monday through Friday, 3 to 5 p.m.).
Mallinson is a dramaturg and director with an MFA in dramaturgy from the Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University, and dual degrees in English (B.A.) and theatre (BFA) from Niagara University. Directorial credits include: Design for Living for Irish Classical Theatre Company, Dinner With Friends, Freud’s Last Session and A Public Reading of an Unproduced Screenplay About the Death of Walt Disney for Road Less Traveled Productions, where she is an ensemble member. As a dramaturg, she has credits on 26 professional productions, including five world premieres. She also has written four original adaptations for performances in Moscow, Cambridge, Mass., and Buffalo, N.Y.
Frame/Works is a program designed to draw connections between scholarly examination and artistic practice. Scholars are invited to present their research on a play, playwright, historical moment, genre or style in a pre-show lecture prior to a performance. Following the performance, audience members are invited to participate in a post-show talkback with members of the cast and creative team. Taken together, the pre-show lecture and the post-show talkback, “frame” a “work” of theatrical art.