You cannot say Macbeth before the show

This is the same informant as the entry on the gels for the lights. The setting is my dining room table. My informant has experience working in theater, and was on the crew for the show Macbeth.

Me: what do you mean?

I: Like, you can’t say Macbeth’s name when you are rehearsing. And you are supposed to call it “The Scottish Play” or something else because you can’t say Macbeth in the theater before a performance.

Me: Did they actually follow that [in the performance the informant worked on]

I: Of course [the director] did. No one was allowed to say Macbeth through the entire rehearsal period leading up to the performance.

Me: Does that go for any show?

I: No, just Macbeth. It was bad luck. I think it was because Macbeth dies in the end. You don’t want Macbeth’s bad luck.

My informant heard this story from the director of the theater department in high school and tells this story because of her interest in theater and theater legends and traditions. This tradition was actually followed in her experience. I think this comes from a long lasting tradition that most directors and actors don’t want to test, therefore they just follow this taboo. No one really knows what will happen if you say Macbeth’s name, but the superstition is so old that I think people are cautious with it just in case.