Actors’ Shakespeare Project (ASP) begins the New Year with Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure where sex, power, and justice collide in a city on the edge. The award-winning itinerant company returns to a familiar home at the Multicultural Arts Center, 41 Second Street, Cambridge January 7 through February 1, 2015. Performances are Wed. (1st preview only)-Fri., 7:30pm; Sat., 3pm (not opening Sat.) & 8pm; Sun., 2pm. Student matinees are at 10am on January 14, 15, 21, 22, 28 & 29.Tickets are $28 — $50. Special $15 student rush. For tickets and information, visit www.actorsshakespeareproject.org or call 617-776-2200 x225.
In this very timely production of Measure for Measure, society is going to hell in a hand-basket. Duke Vincentio (Michael Forden Walker*) figures the best way to rectify a bad situation is to remove himself and put the government into the hands of the one person who can restore order, Lord Angelo (Maurice Emmanuel Parent*). Big mistake. Angelo may not be as righteous as the laws he enforces. We learn he’s sitting on some pretty wrongheaded lust when the innocent one (Adrianna Mitchell as Isabella) who pleads to him for mercy on behalf of her brother suddenly becomes the object of his deep-seeded desires.
“I love the play because at its heart, it is about power and justice,” says director Megan Sandberg-Zakian. “What is a just law? When a law is enforced, for whom are the stakes life or death? Who gets to slide under the radar? In Shakespeare’s Vienna, as in cities across America and the world in 2015, poor people, especially young poor people, are disproportionately targeted by law enforcement. Measure for Measure gives us some of Shakespeare’s most soaring rhetoric on this theme—and a strikingly contemporary story that I hope, through this production, will spur many conversations.”
“More than just being set in a city, Measure for Measure is about a city,” adds Sandberg-Zakian. “Some say it is Shakespeare’s most urban play. The Multicultural Arts Center is thus the perfect stage for this play—it has the elegance and scale of Shakespeare’s language, alongside the feeling of being super-local, fully present, in the City of Cambridge today.”
Given ASP’s long-term partnership with the Department of Youth Services and projects with youth who are part of the juvenile justice system, this play has particular resonance for the company. ASP is enthusiastic about the deep exploration of questions of equity, voice, justice and power that will take place through this production and in ASP’s education and outreach programs this season. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Directed by Megan Sandberg-Zakian and featuring ASP resident acting company members (RAC): Johnnie McQuarley* (Lucio, Froth, Friar Peter, Barnadine), Sarah Newhouse* (Provost, Mariana, Mistress Overdone), Maurice Emmanuel Parent* (Angelo, Deputy of Vienna) and Michael Forden Walker* (Vincentio, Duke of Vienna). Additional cast: Jared Michael Brown (Claudio, Elbow, Friar Peter, Gentleman Client), Adrianna Mitchell (Isabella), Lydia Barnett-Mulligan (Juliet, Pompey, Angelo’s Servant), and Thomas Grenon (Escalus).
The design team includes Megan F. Kinneen (scenic), Chris Bocchiaro (lights), Miranda Kau Giurleo (costumes), David Reiffel (sound), and Christine Hamel (vocal coach).
*A Member of the Actors’ Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers in the United States.
Event Location: Multicult
Multicultural Arts Center, 41 Second Street, Cambridge, MA, 02141
Until Sunday, February 1, 2015 at 5:00 pm