Collector: I know my professor, like, theater ghosts…
Informant: Kind of, but I, like, there’s a lot of, like, a lot of other things besides that, too.
MR: I know my professor just told me a story about a theater ghost.
AA: Yeah, we didn’t have, like, theater ghosts. Of course, like, there is the play you never name, but, like, other than that…like…
MR: Talk to me about Macbeth
AA: I mean, I just know that, like, in the theater you don’t say the name.
Person: Why would you say that?
AA: It’s just, it’s just, you don’t.
Person: Superstitious, yeah, why would you say that word? I’ve never said it.
MR: You’ve never said it?
Person: I studied it in my sophomore year English class, and I never said it.
MR: Wait, aren’t you not supposed to say it when you’re in the theater?
AA: Yeah I thought it was more in the theater—
Person: Especially when you’re not in the theater—
Person: Specifically, yeah…
Person: I don’t say it at all. I’m very—I’m also genuinely—I’m like, easily scared.
Informant is a junior at the University of Southern California. She is studying Human Biology, and she is a dancer and has been for many years. She is from San Diego, California. I spoke to her while we were eating lunch at my sorority house one day. We were sitting together with some of my other informants, Maya Getter, Diana Huang, and Sarah Campbell. Much of what she told me was learned from her own experiences.
This is also interesting because we spoke about this in class as well. It seems that some people have different superstitions about when and when you cannot say the name. I think the conclusion I have come to is that absolutely nobody says it while they’re inside the theater, but some people take the superstition further and don’t say the name outside, either. This is an interesting divergence between personalities and how others influence your beliefs.