Mendocino College Theatre Arts presents "Measure for Measure"
Hoping to restore propriety to his debauched dukedom, Duke Vincentio appoints Angelo as his deputy to clean up Vienna. Under Angelo's watchful eye, old laws against sexual impropriety and lewd behavior are newly enforced. But can Angelo adhere to his own high standards? This dark and unsettling comedy explores the layers of corruption and hypocrisy that may lurk beneath public righteousness. Featuring an original musical score by Rodney Grisanti. Directed by Reid Edelman.
The Mendocino College Theatre Arts Department will present William Shakespeare's Measure for Measure March 21-30 in the college's Center Theatre.
According to the play's director, Mendocino College Theatre professor Reid Edelman, "Measure for Measure is one of Shakespeare greatest and most rarely performed playsthe dark comedy is surprisingly modern." Edelman is staging the production on the college's Center Theatre stage in an environmental setting; the audience will sit onstage and be immersed in the world of the play, a world of steel girders and neon lights, of smoke and grit, of music and violence. Edelman explains, "we have transported the play to a time and place of our own inventionelements of modern or even future times mix with echoes of a Medieval worldin short it is going to be an unusual and riveting theatrical endeavor."
The story takes place in Vienna, a dukedom which has sunken into moral decay. Prostitution and drugs are everywhere, crime is rampant, and the Duke Vincentio (played by Randy Moore) has lost control of his own dukedom. Hoping to restore propriety, Vincentio appoints Angelo (played by Jim Williams) as his deputy to clean things up. Vincentio, in turn, disguises himself as a friar and lurks in the background observing Angelo's progress. Angelo is stainless, a man of unblemished moral standing. Under Angelo's watchful eye, old laws against sexual impropriety and lewd behavior are newly enforced. This includes a law forbidding sex outside of marriage, an offense punishable by death. Young Claudio (played by Miles Mancinelli) is arrested for violating this law. Claudio's pious sister Isabella (played by Lhasa Summers), preparing to take her vows to enter a convent, agrees to plead with Angelo on her brother's behalf. Angelo is shattered by his encounter with Isabella, he finds her irresistible. Abandoning his moral rectitude, Angelo offers a bargain: Claudio may live if Isabella relents to his forbidden and secret seduction of her. A plot ensues that involves severed heads, mistaken identities, and ships lost at sea. According to Edelman, "this unsettling comedy explores the intersection of politics, religion, sexual desire and justice...a timely mix!"
The cast of Measure for Measure showcases 22 talented student performers and features an original musical score by Mendocino College music instructor Rodney Grisanti. Students in Grisanti's recording arts classes are also participating in the production's sound design. The industrial and gritty world of the play is being created by college set & lighting designer Larry L. Lang. The elaborate costumes have been created by resident costume designer and instructor Kathy Dingman Katz, with the help of her crew of enthusiastic and dedicated costuming students. The play is being stage managed by Virginia Hanley with the assistance of students Charlyn Keyser and Alice Gully.
Measure for Measure opens on Friday March 21, 2014. Performances will run for two weekends only, through March 30. Performances are Friday March 21 at 8 PM, Saturday March 22 at 8 PM, Sunday March 23 at 2 PM, Thursday March 27 at 7:30 PM, Friday March 28 at 8 PM, Saturday March 29 at 8 PM and Sunday March 30 at 2 PM. Tickets ($20 general; $15 students and seniors) are available at the Mendocino Book Company, at Mendocino College Bookstore, and online at www.ArtsMendocino.org. The performance on Thursday March 27 is a special discount night, with all tickets costing only $10. Audiences are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance, as seating will be very limited.
Measure for Measure is recommended for ages 14 and older. For more information, visit the college Theatre Department web site at www.mendocino.edu/theater/deptindex.html or call (707) 468-3172.
PRODUCTION PHOTOS ATTACHED:
Photo 1: Jim Williams (Angelo) and Lhassa Summers (Isabella) in the Mendocino College Theatre Arts Department production of Shakespeare's Measure For Measure (photo by Evan Johnson).
Photo 2: Miles Mancinelli (Claudio) and Randy Moore (Vincentio) in the Mendocino College Theatre Arts Department production of Shakespeare's Measure For Measure (photo by Evan Johnson).
Mendocino College Center Theatre (View)
1000 Hensley Creek Rd.
Ukiah, CA 95482
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