Measure for Measure
July 25th – August 18th Directed by Brian Cavanagh
Measure for Measure has been classified as one of Shakespeare’s comedies; however, it is also referred to as a “problem play” because it cannot easily be described as either a tragedy or comedy.
William Shakespeare set the play in Vienna (the only Shakespearean play to be set in Vienna) and also a city, which Shakespeare himself probably never visited.
Our production has been transferred from the traditional, to an American Western. Our story will take place in the dirty, border town of Vienna, Texas. Circa 1890.
The plot centers on Angelo, who has been empowered to rule his land by The Duke of Vienna, while he wanders about disguised as a Friar to investigate the moral decay of his kingdom. Resorting to an old law against pre-marital sex to enforce strict standards of morality, Angelo proceeds to sentence anyone convicted of the “crime” to death. One of these is Claudio, who has been imprisoned and condemned to death for having relations with his own fiancé. Claudio’s sister Isabella goes to Angelo to plead for her brother’s life. The not so angelic Angelo is immediately taken with Isabella and uses his power to blackmail Isabella. He will free her brother if she will come to bed with him. Fortunately, the disguised Duke becomes aware of Angelo’s plan. He arranges a device where, Mariana, a woman from Angelo’s past is substituted for Isabella in Angelo’s bed. Angelo is punished, Claudio is freed, and he and his fiancé live happily ever after.
Parking for Shakespeare in Delaware Park is on street parking along Lincoln Parkway.