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Commonwealth Shakespeare Company Announces Benefit Staged Reading of MEASURE FOR MEASURE

The reading will take place on Thursday, April 14 at 7:30pm at The Stanford Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, located at 527 Tremont Street.

Commonwealth Shakespeare Company Announces Benefit Staged Reading of MEASURE FOR MEASURE

Commonwealth Shakespeare Company (CSC) will host a one-night-only benefit staged reading of Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare, directed by Founding Artistic Director Steven Maler. This production will feature Christian Coulson (Harry Potter, The Hours, Mozart in the Jungle, Nashville) as Angelo and features a dynamic cast of the area's extraordinary talent. The reading will take place on Thursday, April 14 at 7:30pm at The Stanford Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, located at 527 Tremont Street.

Proceeds from this event will support CSC's annual production of Free Shakespeare on the Common.

When the Duke of Vienna leaves his deputy Angelo in charge, he propositions novice nun Isabella. Offering to save her brother from execution in return for sex, she has no idea where to turn for help. When she threatens to expose him, he tells her that nobody would believe her. Measure for Measure, considered a problem play because it combines the elements of comedy and tragedy, is Shakespeare's timeless tale of deception, virtue, honor, and the corruption of power.

The cast also includes Siobhan Juanita Brown* as Provost, Nora Eschenheimer* as Isabella, Maurice Emmanuel Parent* as the Duke of Vienna, Marc Pierre* as Claudio, Daniel Rios, Jr.* as Lucio, and Fred Sullivan Jr.* as Pompey. (*) Member of AEA

Steven Maler, Founding Artistic Director of Commonwealth Shakespeare Company stated: "Measure for Measure is a play that proves the timelessness and prescient nature of Shakespeare's works. This play asks probing questions about justice and morality as it interrogates and exposes leaders who portray themselves as upstanding and yet are rotten to the very core. This couldn't be more contemporary at this time of intense moral judgment and condemnation, and I look forward to exploring this provocative play." He added, "I am thrilled to have Christian join CSC for this performance, having worked with us at our Shakespeare at Fenway event in 2014. As an actor, his continuing commitment to live theatre and his interest in exploring complex, contradictory characters is inspiring. I look forward to exploring this piece with this cast and discovering how it impacts audiences today."

The anticipated run time is 2 hours 30 minutes with a 15-minute intermission.

Tickets are $100 for Reserved Seating and $50 for General Admission and can be purchased via CSC's website.

For more information, visit https://commshakes.org/production/measure-for-measure/.

For an additional $1,000 donation, guests can join CSC's Prospero Society to get access to an exclusive reception on the evening of April 13th with Christian Coulson at the Newbury Hotel. This event is sponsored by The Newbury Hotel.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS:

British actor Christian Colson's stage work in the US includes Richard II at Pennsylvania Shakespeare Theatre, Constellations at The Old Globe, The Changeling at Red Bull Theatre, Travesties at the McCarter Theatre, Everything You Touch at Rattlestick Theatre; London credits include Ghosts at The Gate Theatre and Journey's End at the West End. He played Tom Riddle in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets; other film credits include Bite Me, Love is Strange, and The Hours. He was seen on television in The Equalizer, High Fidelity, Blue Bloods, Nashville, Mozart in the Jungle, Nurse Jackie, The Good Wife, Charles II, and Little Britain. Audiobooks include: Dark Rises, The Stars We Share, and The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue. He has directed numerous shows with Cole Escola; Off-Broadway: Dying City (associate director), The Effect (assistant director), Man From Nebraska (assistant director). He is based in New York.

Steven Maler is the Founding Artistic Director of Commonwealth Shakespeare Company (CSC). At CSC he has been directing Free Shakespeare on the Boston Common productions since 1996, including The Tempest twice, Richard III, Love's Labour's Lost, King Lear, Twelfth Night, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Coriolanus, All's Well That Ends Well, Othello, The Comedy Of Errors, As You Like It, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Taming of the Shrew, Hamlet, Much Ado About Nothing, Macbeth, Henry V, Julius Caesar, and Romeo & Juliet. In collaboration with Boston Landmarks Orchestra, he directed A Midsummer Night's Dream, featuring the Overture and Incidental Music of Felix Mendelssohn, as well as concert stagings of The Boys from Syracuse and Kiss Me Kate at Boston's Hatch Shell. For CSC he has also directed one-night-only readings of plays featuring Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Paul Rudd, Blair Brown, Tony Shalhoub, Leslie Uggams, David Morse, and Jeffrey Donovan among others. He also conceived and directed Shakespeare at Fenway an evening of Shakespeare scenes performed at Boston's iconic Fenway Park, featuring Mike O'Malley, Neal McDonough, Maryann Plunkett, Jay O. Sanders, Kerry O'Malley, Seth Gilliam, Zuzanna Szadkowski, and Jason Butler Harner.

In collaboration with Google, he adapted and directed a first of its kind sixty-minute virtual reality film of Shakespeare's Hamlet, entitled Hamlet 360: Thy Father's Spirit, starring Jack Cutmore-Scott, Jay O. Sanders, Brooke Adams, and Faran Tahir. It is currently available for viewing on Boston public media producer WGBH's YouTube channel; for more information, visit www.wgbh.org/hamlet360.

Other CSC works include his recent critically acclaimed production of Naomi Wallace's Birdy, Ariel Dorfman's Death and the Maiden, the world premiere of Jake Broder's Our American Hamlet, and the world premiere of Robert Brustein's The Last Will. He directed Péter Eötvös operatic treatment of Tony Kushner's Angels in America (U.S. Premiere) and Thomas Adès' Powder Her Face for Opera Boston, The Turn of the Screw at New Repertory Theater, Santaland Diaries and Chay Yew's Porcelain at SpeakEasy Stage Company, Top Girls and Weldon Rising at Coyote Theater, and The L.A. Plays by Han Ong at A.R.T. HIs New York City credits include the New York Musical Theater Festival production of Without You, written and starring Anthony Rapp. The production has been seen in Boston, Edinburgh, Toronto, London, and Seoul.

He received the prestigious Elliot Norton Award for Sustained Excellence, as well as for Best Production for Twelfth Night and All's Well That Ends Well., Outstanding Director, A Midsummer Night's Dream; Best Production, Suburbia; Best Solo Performance, John Kuntz's Starf***ers (which also won Best Solo Performance Award at New York International Fringe Festival). His feature film "The Autumn Heart," starring Tyne Daly and Ally Sheedy was in the Dramatic Competition at the Sundance Film Festival.

Commonwealth Shakespeare Company (CSC), best known for its annual free performances on Boston Common, is a non-profit theater organization founded in 1996, dedicated to artistic excellence, accessibility, and education. CSC's Free Shakespeare on the Common has served over one million audience members over its 25-year history and has become a beloved summer tradition enjoyed by as many as 50,000 people annually. After a hiatus in 2020 because of the Covid pandemic, CSC presented The Tempest on Boston Common in the summer of 2021.

In addition to its live theater productions, CSC has also presented a variety of virtual programs, particularly in the past two years. The company also runs the CSC Academy, which provides training programs and performing opportunities for early-career actors, and Stage2, which provides education programs for middle and high school students and educators. For more information visit commshakes.org.

THEATER INFORMATION

The Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA is fully accessible. There are accessible restrooms on both levels of the Calderwood Pavilion. Accessibility services may be available upon request, please email audienceservices@commshakes.org.

The Atelier 505 Parking Garage provides handicapped parking in close proximity to the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA. All patrons, regardless of age, must present proof of full vaccination for COVID-19 or a recent negative test (PCR test within 72 hours, Antigen test within 24 hours) in order to enter the theater.

For more information see here: bostontheatrescene.com/plan-your-visit/covid-19-public-health/



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