It begins

January 24, 2007
Hello all, and welcome to this journey thru the rehearsal and performance process of Milwaukee Shakespeare’s production of Macbeth, with me, Todd Denning.

“Who are you?” I’m glad you asked.

I’m a theatre artist who lives in Milwaukee and works as an actor, director, teacher, fight choreographer and sometimes sound designer/engineer.

For Milwaukee Shakespeare’s production of Macbeth, I have three major responsibilities: Actor – playing the role of Macduff, Understudy – to the actor (Mark Corkins) playing Macbeth, and Fight Captain for the production. Mostly, I’ll be sharing with you things about my journey as an actor playing Macduff, but I’ll also try and give you an idea of what the other two jobs add to the process as well.

As an understudy, I have to be prepared to step in for Mark, either in performance or rehearsal, for whatever reason (illness, injury, scheduling conflict, etc.), should he be unavailable. The first question for most will be, “Do I have to know his lines, too?” Yes, and his blocking, fights, props, and costume changes, too.

As Fight Captain, my job is to assist the Fight Choreographer (Rick Barrows) in rehearsals as he stages the fights; notate, or write down, those fights (so we don’t forget them). After the fights are choreographed, and the Fight Choroegrapher leaves, my responsibility will be to be present at all fight calls; to make sure the fights are properly executed and that the actors remain safe; and also to keep an eye of the weapons being used to make sure that they are safe to fight with.

So those are my three jobs for this show – sound like fun to you??? I’m thrilled!!!

With this blog, I’ll do my best to share my journey and experiences with you, as I and the rest of the cast and crew dive head first into our mythical Scotland. If you are following along on this journey and you have any specific questions for me about the journey, the play, or the process, or anything at all, just ask, and I’ll do my best to answer you as openly and honestly as I can. Email me at comments@milwaukeeshakespeare.com.

My history with the Scottish play (or Macbeth for those not superstitious)
I love this play!!! I would say it’s one of my three favorites in the Shakespearean canon. (Can you guess the other two??? Hint – one of the others is a comedy, the other is another tragedy.) It’s also a play that I have a lot of history with, so I’m very familiar with it. This will be my fourth time working on this play, but my first time playing Macduff. In 1995, I played Macbeth, outdoors, in San Luis Obispo, CA, with the Central Coast Shakespeare Festival. In 1996, I played Lennox in Cedar City, UT, with the Utah Shakespearean Festival. And two-and-a-half years ago, I helped direct a production of Macbeth, and all-female Macbeth, with the Ladies of the Young Company of the First Stage Theater Academy. But even with all this history with the play, I can’t wait to see what new discoveries about the play and its characters lie ahead…..


0 Responses to “It begins”

  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: