Monday, August 2, 2010

Meanwhile, in the Garden...

Once Macbeth has killed off his best friend, Banquo, he becomes totally unhinged.

His wife, guilt-free and delighted to be Queen of Scotland, is likely redecorating the palace lickety-split and has her heart set on a royal Banquet — yes, with a capital B.

All those lassies in grade school are going to be darn sorry they ever snubbed our new Queen once that invitation list goes out and the celebrations for her husband's crowning raise the roof on ye merry Dunsinane Castle.

Everything's ready.

Hair: Check.

Nails: Check.

Goblets polished: Check, check and check.

The regal hall fills with kilted Lords and Ladies dressed in satin. Lady Macbeth wanders the palatial room, fine wine in hand, a smile plastered on her face and fresh roses in her cheeks. All is going swimmingly until her husband blows it and starts talking to an empty chair. Oh, for crying out loud, this guy is just the limit.

I saw a production of "Macbeth" wherein the director had cleverly staged the party crowd, moving them around the stage to steal the audience's attention at perfect spots so that Banquo's ghost appeared and disappeared as if by magic.

I wanted to replicate this idea with the young thespians of our club.


"Okay, here's a neat trick. When actors have to gather onstage for a party scene and need to look like they're talking and laughing but can't make noise they say, "Rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb" to each other."


"Come on, try it. As if you're saying, 'Oh, Natalie, I love the ribbons in your hair," but you nod and smile and say, 'Rhubarb rhubarb!' Get it?"

"What is that stuff, Ms. Ryane? Rhubarb?" Mary asked with a grimace of distaste on her face.

"It's a fruit or vegetable kind of thing. You put it in pies. Or go to the garden with a bowl of sugar, pick a stalk of rhubarb, lick it, stick it in the sugar and eat. Delish!"

This is another way I test their patience. They have zero idea what the heck I'm on about.

"Let's try 'rhubarb' with the moves. Ready?"

It would take weeks for them to learn the cues for moves toward the chair and away from the chair in order to reveal and hide Garth's Banquo — who by the way, would act like a complete joker until performance day.

But, they love rhubarb rhubarb and repeat it over and over, killing themselves laughing. Oh, it's a good party all right...for everyone except our mortified hostess.

Husbands. Honestly.


My name is Ross. I live in the part of the palace where all the lords live. I'm married. I have 6 children their names are Scarlet, Cole, Jill, Robert, Emily and James. What do I belive-one day I open my own bisnis. I want to make swords and sell them. I am loyal to whoever is King. I love riding horses. I like to eat chicken pot pies, steamed veggies and muffins. I like to wear satin and lether.
—Mary, 3rd grade


  1. My mom's favorite pie was rhubarb. I never got it, too mushy for me... but also never heard of eating a stalk with sugar. That sounds crunchy yummy. Plus, always wondered what actors were saying to each other in those background scenes. So... i got two questions answered today.

    Enjoying your writing and sharing!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.