'Macbeth' at Chicago Shakespeare Theater co-directed by magician Teller

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The silent partner of the comedy duo Penn and Teller is finally talking about his new role co-directing "Macbeth" at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier. (WLS)

The silent partner of the comedy duo Penn and Teller is finally talking about his new role co-directing "Macbeth" at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier.

Teller is best known for making magic with his partner Penn. But right now, he's casting a spell at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier.

Even though he seldom speaks, Teller talked to ABC7's Janet Davies about co-directing a dazzling new take on the Shakespeare's Macbeth.

It's theatre superstition: say the name of this play and face disaster. That should be no problem for Teller - the silent member of the magic duo Penn and Teller. But Teller - the man with one name- is talking.

"When Penn and I were opening on Broadway for the first time we stood backstage and appalled the stage hands by saying Macbeth, Macbeth, good luck and whistling. Shakespeare has a phrase for that, "We defy augury," said Teller, co-director of Macbeth.

Teller collaborated with fellow director Aaron Posner on the twisted tragedy.

"We've decided that we'll put the audience a little more in the position that Mr. and Mrs. Macbeth are in, which is they don't know what's real or what's not and no form is better for conveying that than magic," Teller said.

The Bard's play happens in Chicago Shakespeare's newest space, The Yard, which opened in September.

This is the largest production they have ever mounted.

"This space is amazing, particularly for a play of kings and big actions like murders and battles, it has a kind of grandeur, the openness, the height of it, the size and the scope of it," said Co-Director Aaron Posner.

Besides magic, Teller is a big horror film fan and that plays into this production.

"This is the best written supernatural horror thrilled that has crossed the stage or screen, really. I like 'Psycho,' I love 'Psycho,' but it's not better written than this," Teller said.

Teller, a busy television performer, is still continuing performing with his magic partner in Las Vegas. Commuting from Chicago has been challenging.

"I take a quotation from the play as my motto - 'sleep no more,'" he said.
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