I am closing on a hundred pages! Yay.
Yesterday I spent a couple of hours importing the novel to Scrivener to try it out. So far I've figured out that I like MS Word's interface/setup better for just straight-up drafting which could just be that I'm used to it--but the Scrivener organizational functions are definitely shiny. Today I wrote a new scene half in MS Word and half in Scrivener and updated both files. Which is an inefficient way to handle things, but we shall see.
Last night I went to see an all-female cast perform Macbeth at my old high school. It was... kind of awesome.
(For one thing, I believe we were totally breaking fire code on the black box theater, so it was a little bit "aww, just like the old days!"--we spent about a year tiptoeing around after a journalist wrote in the local paper about how we broke fire code all the time with our audience numbers, but this was authentically airless, hot, and stifling, with two rows of people sitting in front of the chairs and standing room in the back, doors propped open, and the directors telling us that the exits were here and there and, in case of fire... good luck!)
The array of gender presentation was impressive. Different genders presented, different ways of presentation--some cast members made a distinct effort to hide typically female characteristics (sex or gender), or some but not others; some costumes were designed to hide or change more than others; the way they acted, held themselves, used their faces and their voice. None of it involved fake facial hair, or modification of voices to get a laugh. I could easily read all of them as female biologically (most of them without effort), but they had taken their presentation of gender so far out of the normal spectrum that it was difficult for me to pin pronouns on the characters as they played them.
The way that presentation shifted was intriguing, too. All the actors but Lady Macbeth played at least one male role, I think; several also played female roles, but we first saw them in male parts. The presentation of female gender was in some ways just as deliberate as the presentation of male gender.
That, I think, is what fascinates me so much about shows like this--you have
to break down gender, gender presentation, and build it back up, for an all-female cast to work with this sort of show. Sure, you can just stick girls in pants and put fake beards on them, but that's shoddy work.
(I kind of wish that all shows everywhere would do this. All-female casts push the issue, but it'd be interesting to see how other casts would deal with it, and what the product would look like.)
And it's interesting now reflecting on The Tempest at my college in light of this production. To a certain extent the presentation of gender there, too, was varied, but I noticed it far less--probably because I expect and am used to a variety of gender presentation from people there.
In the setting of my high school, though, there is definitely not such a wide distribution, which made the choice (and at my high school it had to be a specific choice, whereas at my college it's sort of de facto and you work from there) and the presentation much more dynamic, arresting, fascinating to my eyes.
To be fair, though, a lot of Macbeth is about gender dynamics. Blood and children and women and men and death and... death, see "different ways of". A lot of The Tempest is not. So that probably helped too.