Wow. Just wow. I am totally thrilled to be here. Absolutely thrilled. It’s overwhelming, being here. Look—do you see, right there?—tears in my eyes. That’s how overwhelmed I am.
I’d like to start off by saying thank you to anxiety, the kind that I didn’t even know was there until it was integral to my success. For example, I never thought that I, as a woman, would get to play Banquo until the instant I was cast. From that moment on, I had this lurking anxiety that the opportunity to do something revolutionary with one of Shakespeare’s greatest roles would be pulled out from under me. Or, that I would do the pulling. Ha.
Next, I’d like to thank my director. He’s the big one. Thank you for casting me, for encouraging me, for taking a chance on me. No one else but you would have done it. You, because of a strange male-female ratio, cast me in a traditionally male role. No, not traditionally. Unconditionally male role. You did that, for me. I think it’s because you love me. I love you! Haha, I just love all of you!
Uh… running short on time here. Who else? I’d like to thank the costume designer for the tight braids, flight suit, combat boots, white undershirt, and fake blood. It all looked great. The production photos, they were amazing. And my fellow actors, you were great. Really great. So proud of this entire cast.
One last thing— I’d like to thank myself for being unafraid as both an actor and as a woman. I’d like to say that I did a great job keeping strength in my stance, but allowing for the tenderness of motherhood in my interactions with Fleance. And I’d like to thank myself for going under stage lights without any makeup except enhanced eyebrows. A pat on the back for me because I spat up fake blood on a banquet table while primal screaming. The other actors continued to use the pronoun “he” because Banquo was defined by friendship, motherhood, military service, and loyalty to the crown, not a label or the sex of an actor. It was a directional choice that had to be matched by hard work from the actor despite the dissonance between myself and the character physically. Good for me. A round of applause for me because I did a damn good job as Banquo, just as the good Bard intended.