Voodoo Macbeth

A moving tribute to an indelible slice of history...this story should be shouted from the rooftops.

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Voodoo Macbeth

Well before Citizen Kane and The War of the Worlds, with FDR’s New Deal providing funding for the Federal Theatre Project’s Negro Unit, director and acclaimed Broadway actor Rose McClendon, with the help of a young John Houseman, convinces 21-year old Orson Welles to direct Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” for the Harlem community with an all-Black cast. It came to be known as “Voodoo Macbeth.” However, it quickly becomes clear that the road to opening night will not be a smooth one. Orson and Rose — who is to play Lady Macbeth — clash over everything from scene blocking to crew hires, while Houseman contends with a congressman hell-bent on shutting down what he deems “communist propaganda.” To realize their vision, Welles and McClendon must overcome political pressure, personal demons and protests fueled by the skepticism of the Black community. VOODOO MACBETH revisits a major moment in Black theater and a foundational early chapter in the career of Orson Welles - generally considered to be among the greatest and most influential filmmakers of all time.

In 1936 Harlem, the first all-Black cast production of 'Macbeth,' led by renowned Broadway actor Rose McClendon, struggles to make it to opening night amid the downward spiral of their young and untested director — Orson Welles.
Not Rated
Genre
Drama, Shakespeare, African-American Experience
Runtime
108
Language
English
Director
Dagmawi Abebe
Victor Alonso-Berbel
Roy Arwas
Hannah Bang
Christopher Beaton
Agazi Desta
Tiffany K Guillen
Zoe Salnave
Ernesto Sandoval
Sabina Vajraca
Writer(s)
Agazi Desta, Jennifer Frazin, Morgan Milender, Molly Miller, Amri Rigby, Joel David Santner, Erica C Sutherlin, Chris Tarricone
Cast
Inger Tudor, Jewell Wilson Bridges, Jeremy Tardy, Ashli Haynes, June Schreiner, Daniel Kuhlman, Wrekless Watson, Gary McDonald, Hunter Bodine
FEATURED REVIEW
Suzanne Marques, CBS Los Angeles

A moving tribute to an indelible slice of history, that is finally being shared and celebrated! One of Orson Welles‘ most pivotal moments, right before Citizen Kane, brought beautifully to life. This story was hidden for far too long, along with Rose McClendon’s wonderful legacy. Some say better ...

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