Macbeth Creative Project (Conley + Gerber)

For our Creative Macbeth project, we chose to make a musical that made the complex story of Macbeth easier for all audiences to comprehend. The purpose of this project was to help further our understanding of Macbeth. By rewriting or illustrating or acting out events from the play, we helped to analyse the story and put it into simpler terms. This helped to make sure that we fully understood the whole story, and that we grasped the meaning behind the Shakespearean words.

We chose to create a musical because we knew it would highlight our strong points and challenge us at the same time. We knew that we weren’t very artistically talented, so we didn’t want to try to draw a playbill. We had just made a board game for our last benchmark in Biochem, so neither of us were feeling up to making another one this quarter. We also knew that we would struggle with making anything that involved recording because our schedules wouldn’t fit very well for filming. Overall, Tommy and I felt like a musical was the best fit for us. We could be creative and use our imaginations to make our musical original, while still having to use our knowledge of the story to make our songs factual and interesting. We used these factors to create our musical and write 2 of the songs.

Our musical consists of many songs that weave together the different scenes and acts of Macbeth. We have taken general themes from the play and put them into songs that are popular and known today. By making the songs ones that people have heard of, it makes the challenge of grasping Macbeth much more approachable. Although songs like “Hotline Bling” may seem extremely off topic, they can actually be very effective when used to define the key points of the story. We used the song “Hotline Bling” to illustrate Macbeth killing King Duncan, and also to give more background information. That’s why using songs instead of just a picture is so effective; with them we were able to not only explain what was specifically in the text, but also our interpretations and reasoning for what has occurred. For example we also wrote out lyrics to “Somebody That I Used to Know,” a spin off on the popular song by Gotye, where we demonstrated the point that Macbeth had totally lost it. We used the lyrics and tunes of songs to show how we felt about the characters and about how they felt about themselves.

We also had to select songs for all of the important scenes that we weren’t going to fully flesh out, so we had to think about the general emotions that the scene conveyed. For example, because we are 2000’s kids, for Act 2 Scene 4 we used the “Wizards of Waverly Place” theme song, since the scene was about things being unnatural and out of place. Our interpretation of the book was heavily based on our class discussions, and by writing songs we were able to expand upon and share these understandings through our musical. To conclude, we wanted take our understanding of the play and share it using a musical that others could understand and laugh at.


We did a lot of our work over Google Hangouts. This made it possible for us to collaborate at home, and for us to be able to get good work done.

For some of our songs, we had to do some research. Listening to the lyrics multiple time or reading them out loud helped to figure out what our lyrics should sound like. Granted, it wasn't difficult research, and there were definitely no complaints about listening to music.
A great tool that we found while working on this project was to find a rhyme website. Normally in writing, having a thesaurus can be very helpful. In our case, we needed to find rhymes because of how we wrote our songs. We had a rhyme tab open every time we worked.

Overall, this project was very fun, and we both had a great time doing it. We got to show our creativity and our understanding of Macbeth all in one project. We are both proud of our effort and of our final product. Our playbill is down below and online for you to view. The first two squares are the front and back covers. The rest show the songs in our musical as well as the lyrics to two of our songs. Hope you enjoy it!

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Comments (30)

John Sugrue (Student 2019)
John Sugrue

This is hilarious! All of the songs not only seem like they're well thought out, they also make a lot of sense with the story and work well as parodies to the songs. Great job!