Camp Verde Premiere: Voodoo Macbeth


Phillip England Center for the Performing Arts Fri, Jul 16 7:00 PM
Film Info
Event Type:Camp Verde Premiere!
Narrative Feature
Release Year:2020
Run Time:108 minutes
Production Country:United States
Original Language:English
Cast/Crew Info
Director:Agazi Desta, Dagmawi Abebe, Victor Alonso-Berbel, Roy Arwas, Hannah Bang, Christopher Beaton, Tiffan
Cast:Inger Tudor, Jewell Wilson Bridges, Jeremy Tardy, Daniel Kuhlman, Wrekless Watson, Ashli Haynes, Gar


Friday, July 16 at 7 p.m.
Phillip England Center for the Performing Arts • Camp Verde

“Voodoo Macbeth” won two awards at the Sedona Film Festival, including the top “Best of Fest” Audience Choice Award and the Directors’ Choice Indie Spirit Award. The film is based on the true story of the attempt by Orson Welles to stage the first all-black cast performing Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

In 1936, America is in the midst of The Great Depression, and millions of unemployed are struggling to survive. Still, Harlem’s Lafayette Theater continues operations and is the most active Negro Theater unit of the Federal Theater Project, a New Deal program funding live artist performance and designed to boost employment. Led by Rose McClendon and John Houseman, the company challenges conventional perspectives of Black theater by producing their first classical production.

Houseman hires the inexperienced, boisterous, and arrogant 20-year-old Orson Welles to direct the first all-Black cast performing Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Welles, determined to create shockwaves with his first professional stage play, radically adapts Macbeth by shifting the setting from medieval Scotland to 19th century Haiti. Welles struggles to bring his career-launching vision to life while balancing an amateur cast, distressed marriage, political interference, and protests fueled by the skepticism of the Black community. Inspired by actual events, and created by a group of 8 writers and 10 directors who collaborated as students at the University of Southern California, "Voodoo Macbeth" tells the story of a long-forgotten Black theater landmark that launched a film legend’s directing career.

Phillip England Center for the Performing Arts is located at 210 Camp Lincoln Road in Camp Verde.