Measure for Measure - Fall 2008

Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare
Measure for Measure - Fall 2008 - Bowdoin Theater and Dance PerformanceNovember 6 - 8, 2008
Directed by Professor Davis Robinson.

Considered one of Shakespeare's most complex and mature comedies, often bordering on the tragic, Measure for Measure examines the friction between human laws and natural law, spiritual purity and physical desire.

A Duke, after presiding over a corrupt society for 14 years, puts an austere Puritan in charge to better enforce state laws. Observing the ramifications of this decision under the veil of disguise, the Duke soon learns what people really think of him, and how easily a strict adherence to temporal laws can clash with higher laws of mercy and grace. The new ruler's severity sets several subplots into motion, with the threats of death and terror hanging darkly over the extreme, often comic society. The harsh absolutes dictated by Angelo's puritan zeal contrast with the moral laxity of Mistress Overdone's bawdy house. Isabella's unbending religious code is forced to bear the moral compromises of the Duke's actions, fraught with human desires and fears.

Measure for Measure is not a neatly classifiable play. It explores and relishes contradictions, making it one of the most psychologically modern of Shakespeare's plays. It is ripe for a contemporary audience, as political power and hidden social and sexual agendas boil over both onstageand in our mainstream media on a daily basis. Election years, too, are always a particularly powerful time for doing theater. People are emotionally invested in the forces driving political leaders and the national debate. Feelings run high in the months leading up to November and trust is at a premium. There could be no better time for a play that questions our morality, the law, power, sexuality, governance, and our understanding of self. Power, sex, and morality are on the front burner of everyone's consciousness, and it's a great time to plunge into a world that is equal parts poetic and human, one that lets us both celebrate and question our all too fragile democracy.

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Measure for Measure - Fall 2008 - Bowdoin Theater and Dance Performance   Measure for Measure - Fall 2008 - Bowdoin Theater and Dance Performance

Measure for Measure - Fall 2008 - Bowdoin Theater and Dance Performance   Measure for Measure - Fall 2008 - Bowdoin Theater and Dance Performance

Measure for Measure - Fall 2008 - Bowdoin Theater and Dance Performance   Measure for Measure - Fall 2008 - Bowdoin Theater and Dance Performance

Measure for Measure - Fall 2008 - Bowdoin Theater and Dance Performance   Measure for Measure - Fall 2008 - Bowdoin Theater and Dance Performance

Measure for Measure - Fall 2008 - Bowdoin Theater and Dance Performance

Cast List
(in order of appearance)

Escalus Anna Byers
Duke Derek Brooks
Secretary Emily Schonberg
Ministers Brenna Nicely, Carolyn Trotman, Natalie Jimenez
Angelo Sam Plattus
Lucio Tom Blaber
Gentleman 1 William Ho
Gentleman 2 Kevin Kowalko
Soldier Lily Shapiro
Kate Keepdown Linzee Troubh
Wench Lara Lom
Pompey Tony Thrower
Mistress Overdone Alex Williams-Bellotti
Provost Brenna Nicely
Claudio Houston Kraft
Juliet Natalie Jimenez
Elbow Seth Kelley
Friar Carolyn Trotman
Isabella Kathleen Lewis
Francisca Anne Rothacker
Justice Lily Shapiro
Froth Kevin Kowalko
Clients William Ho, Carolyn Trotman, Anne Rothacker
Mistress Elbow Lily Shapiro
Mariana Lara Lom
Singer Emily Schonberg
Abhorson Linzee Troubh
Prisoners Kevin Kowalko, Natalie Jimenez, Lily Shapiro, Anne Rothacker
Barnardine William Ho