Shakespeare Productions in the USA: The Voices and Sounds of America’s Shakespeare
This chapter focuses on Shakespearean productions mounted and directed by US performers, specifically Paul Robeson and Orson Welles, who were both enabled by Interwar innovations in broadcasting. Robeson proclaimed he hoped for “a double victory” with his performances, one against tyranny abroad and the other against racial discrimination at home. Welles also combined politics and play production in his adaptation of Julius Caesar in 1937, using stage designs which focused on the rise of Mussolini and Hitler. With his so-called “Voodoo” Macbeth (1936) employing an all-black cast, and debuting the play in Harlem, Welles cemented his status as one of the most innovative Interwar interpreters of Shakespeare’s works.