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Smith Street Stage to Present Reimagining of MEASURE FOR MEASURE at The Mark O'Donnell Theater

What is freedom in a patriarchal police state? What does justice look like? How do we defend ourselves and our bodies?

Smith Street Stage to Present Reimagining of MEASURE FOR MEASURE at The Mark O'Donnell Theater

 

SMITH STREET STAGE has announced their reimagining of William Shakespeare's MEASURE FOR MEASURE, directed by Raquel Chavez and Beth Ann Hopkins. MEASURE FOR MEASURE will play a three-week limited engagement at The Mark O'Donnell Theater at The Entertainment Community Fund Arts Center (160 Schermerhorn Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201). Performances begin Wednesday, September 28 and continue through Saturday, October 15. Opening Night is Friday, September 30 (7 p.m.). Tickets are $20-$75 and are available at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/measure-for-measure-tickets-400543726067.

A growing feminist liberation movement raging against the oppressive patriarchal status quo takes Vienna by storm. After a sudden regime change, the conservatives newly in power react aggressively, invoking antiquated morality laws to strip their constituents of bodily autonomy and quell the resistance. Isabella is radicalized after seeing her brother Claudio and his lover Juliet among the first incarcerated in the crackdown. She hatches a plan to rebel against the oppressive campaign led by Angelo, the Duke's deputy, but will have to decide: Can peace be wrought without justice?

"I'm interested in re-upholstering Shakespeare to better suit today's most pressing cultural quandries," comments co-director Chavez. "How can we employ this centuries-old language and story-telling to re-contextualize and better illuminate our current political struggles while imagining different futures? A huge inspiration for us were the 2019 Chilean anti-police protests, the so-called "Green Wave"in Latin America as well as the 2020 summer uprising here in the United States against police brutality and for Black lives. There's a lot already built into this story - state violence, over-surveillance, police impunity, the carceral state's reliance on punishment as justice, patriarchal abuse of power - but there's also civil disobedience, the solidarity among women/femmes, the ingenuity and conspiracy of mutual aid networks, and the possibilities of transformative justice and radical love. What we hope the play can do is demonstrate how we can Demonstrate and Ignite a Revolution inside the theatrical parameters of Shakespeare."

What is freedom in a patriarchal police state?

What does justice look like?

Who permits violence in a carceral state?

How do we defend ourselves and our bodies?

How do we protect our communities?

The production stars Keith Hale (Shakespeare Theatre of NJ) as The Duke, Jonathan Hopkins* (Lincoln Center, Project Theater, The Pearl Theater) as Angelo, Delia Kemph as Juliet/Abhorsen, Toni Kwadzogah (Theatre East) as Escalus/Overdone, Mahayla Laurence (Sweethearts (HBO), Clubbed Thumb) as Mariana, Christian Negron (Nebraska Shakespeare) as Provost, Daniella Rabbani* (Scenes from A Marriage (HBO), Oceans Eight, Drama Desk Nominee The Golden Land) as Pompey, Nic Sanchez (American Shakespeare Center ) as Lucio, Tobias Wong (The Public Theater, Seattle Rep.) as Claudio/Elbow and Aileen Wu (LA MAMA, Smith Street Stage) as Isabella.

The production features scenic and props design by lucas a degirolamo, costume design by Brynee Oster-Bainnson, and lighting design by Xiangfu Xiao. Jose Maria Aguila is the Fight Choreographer, Neil Klein is the composer and music director, Leyla Beydoun is the intimacy coach, Cynthia Vazquez is the stage manager and Charles Cobbertt is the assistant stage manager. Publicity by Katie Rosin/Kampfire PR and graphic design by Joey Shaw.

MEASURE FOR MEASURE plays the following regular schedule through Saturday, October 15:

Wednesdays at 7 p.m.

Thursdays at 7 p.m.

Fridays at 7 p.m.

Saturdays at 7 p.m.

Sundays at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $25-70 and are now available online at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/measure-for-measure-tickets-400543726067. Tickets may also be purchased in-person at the theater half hour prior to the performance.

Running Time: 120 minutes

Website: http://www.smithstreetstage.org/

 

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