Macbeth Director’s Notebook Project Rough Draft

Need help on your props and lines to be emphasized? Check out this post on how to take your analysis deeper!


You will demonstrate your comprehension of The Tragedy of Macbeth by William Shakespeare by keeping a Director’s Notebook. This will include your ideas for set designs, stage directions, cast lists, wardrobes, and lines to be emphasized.

Setting Up Your Director’s Notebook

Section 1: Cast List – 50 points

Section 2: Wardrobes – 50 points

Section 3: Acts I-V

  • Per Act:
    • Set Designs – 15 points
    • Props – 30 points
    • Stage Directions – 30 points
    • Lines to be Emphasized – 40 points


Section 1: Cast List

Upon completion of the play, you will create a cast list of modern day actors and actresses to play the major characters in Macbeth. For each cast member, you will write a brief (3-7 sentences) explanation for why they are the best actor for the part, citing past roles that are comparable to the character.


Section 2: Wardrobes

Upon completion of the play, you will design the wardrobes for the major characters in Macbeth. For each costume, you will write a brief (3-7 sentences) explanation connecting the outfit to the character’s traits.


Section 3: Information for each act

For the third section of your Director’s Notebook, you will design the set, create stage directions for the actors, and point out lines to be emphasized.

  • Set Design: For each scene, you will somehow visually represent the set. You may do this by drawing, cutting out pictures from magazines, or printing images off of the internet.  Your set must match the mood and tone of the scene, and must include any vital details included in Shakespeare’s original dialogue. This may also include any special effects with lighting, fog machines, fire, water, sound effects, or anything else that could add to the audience’s experience.


  • Props: What props are necessary for your characters to interact with on stage? Make sure you have a minimum of ten props per act, and a few sentences explaining the importance of those props.


  • Stage Directions: Since Shakespeare’s original plays have little to no stage directions, it is your job to give your actors those important directions. This might include walking from one side of the stage to the other, reactions to other actors, what the actor will do with his/her hands while speaking a monologue or soliloquy, or anything else that is not part of the original dialogue in Shakespeare’s play.


  • Lines to be Emphasized: Shakespeare’s plays are heralded for their impressive dialogue and memorable phrases. Have you ever heard or used the phrases, “to thine own self be true” or “It’s all Greek to me!” or “to be, or not to be?” The Tragedy of Macbeth is loaded with famous quotes and phrases that we still use and hear in movies and books to this day. Your job is to identify the most important quotes and emphasize them in your director’s notebook. You then need to write three to seven sentences explaining why and how you’ve decided to emphasize those quotes in your stage direction.



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