Director Robert Falls to Talk and Tweet About MEASURE FOR MEASURE at Goodman Theatre, March-April 2013


"Should a woman sleep with a man she finds repellent if by doing so she serves a greater good?" (New York Times) is among the questions of William Shakespeare's Measure for Measure, at Goodman Theatre in a new production directed by Artistic Director Robert Falls. Falls sets his production of Shakespeare's dark comedy against the backdrop of New York City circa 1970s-an era in which economic challenges, urban flight and the sexual revolution transformed one of the greatest cities in the world into one of the most troubled.

Measure for Measure runs March 9 - April 14; Opening Night is March 18. Tickets ($25 - $86; subject to change) can be purchased at, by phone at 312.443.3800 or at the box office (170 North Dearborn). Rehearsal photos, bios and headshots are now available in the Press Room.

"I've long been fascinated by Measure for Measure and its juxtaposition of satire, tragedy and freewheeling morality. As our world becomes increasingly polarized-both socially and politically-I feel that its themes are more timely than ever," said Robert Falls. "Although Shakespeare set the play in Vienna, he obviously intended it to reflect conditions in the London of his time; I have chosen to set my production in a time and place that is similarly familiar to many of us. With characters that are neither impossibly good nor unilaterally evil, the play presents us with a world not unlike our own."

First presented in 1604, Measure for Measure asks: what kinds of authority should be given to political leaders, and what is "just" punishment? What is the balance between justice and mercy? Between sensuality and rationality? Between duty to God and duty to family? Between religion and government? A once-great city is mired in economic and moral decay with a populace who would rather explore the raunchier side of urban life. Admitting his own culpability and taking leave, the ruler entrusts the responsibility of law enforcement with his pious aid-who levies draconian punishments upon a seemingly innocent man, and then attempts to exact an unholy settlement from his sister (a young nun) who pleads his case.

Forty-second Street grind houses and peep shows of 1970s New York City, graffiti-laden walls and garbage-filled streets provide a visceral setting for Shakespeare's tale of corrupting power, moral excess and religious zeal. Falls again teams up with designers Walt Spangler (set), Ana Kuzmanic (costumes), Richard Woodbury (sound/composer)-all of whom designed his critically-acclaimed 2006 production of King Lear starring Stacy Keach-and Marcus Doshi (lights) to implement the images and aura of the time.


Hosted by Mark Bazer featuring Robert Falls
March 1, 6:30pm |The Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia |$8 at the door
The Interview Show, held the first Friday of every month at the music club The Hideout, features guests from every walk of life-artists, musicians, authors, comedians, community activists, chefs, CEOs and more-sharing their world views and talents in a laid-back, intimate setting. Host Mark Bazer is a blog contributor to The Huffington Post and is a syndicated columnist for Tribune Media Services.

Join Robert Falls online for a live discussion via the social media outlet Twitter
March 13, 12 noon - 1pm | Tweet questions to Falls at @GoodmanTheatre and use hashtag #MforM

A conversation with director Robert Falls
March 17, 5-6pm discussion | At the Goodman | $5 for Subscribers, Donors and Students; $10 for General Public

Arrive early or stay late for discussions about the play with members of the artistic team | At the Goodman |FREE Pre-show (7pm): March 22, 29; April 5, 12 |Post-show: March 13, 14, 20, 21, 27, 28; April 3, 4, 10, 11

ABOUT MEASURE FOR MEASURE: Virtue and vice collide in Measure for Measure-and lust and the law clash wills. In 1896, scholar F.S. Boas classified three of Shakespeare's works written around the turn of the 17th century-Measure for Measure, All's Well That Ends Well and Troilus and Cressida-as "problem plays" to distinguish them from comedies, tragedies and histories. Rather than implying that the plays themselves are problematic, "problem plays" (a blend of low comedy, incipient tragedy and moral ambiguity) deal with contemporary social issues. By Elizabethan definition, many of Shakespeare's best-known works can be easily classified as comedy, tragedy, or history-but his "problem plays" reveal Shakespeare as a bold experimenter and stylistic chameleon who eludes easy categorization.

Falls' diverse cast of 25 (as previously announced) is led by Alejandra Escalante as Isabella; Jeffrey Carlson as Lucio; Kevin Fugaro as Claudio; John Judd as Escalus; James Newcomb as The Duke of Vienna and Jay Whittaker as Lord Angelo. Also cast are Celeste Cooper as Juliet; Aaron Todd Douglass as Pompey; Sean Fortunado as Elbow; Joe Foust as Barnadine; Cindy Gold as Mistress Overdone; Kate LaConti as Mariana; A.C. Smith as Provost. The ensemble includes John Victor Allen, Amanda Catania, Anthony DiNicola, Amanda Drinkall, Isabel Ellison, Billy Fenderson, LaNisa Frederick, Quinton Guyton, Carolyn Hoerdemann, Travis Knight, Daniel Smith and Glenn Stanton.

The Goodman's 2012/2013 Season features 11 productions on its two stages-six in the 856-seat Albert Theatre and three in the 400-seat flexible Owen Theatre, plus a Latino Theatre Festival that includes two additional productions. On stage now is Teddy Ferrara by Christopher Shinn, directed by Evan Cabnet (through March 3, 2013 in the Owen). Still to come is a Latino Theatre Festival in the Owen, featuring Cuba's Teatro Buendía's production of Pedro Páramo by Raquel Carrió, co- directed by Flora Lautén and Henry Godinez and produced in association with the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (March 22 - March 31), The Happiest Song Plays Last by Quiara Alegría Hudes, directed by Edward Torres (April 13 - May 12, 2013) and Albany Park Theater Project's production of Home/Land, written collectively by the Albany Park Theater Project teen ensemble and directed collectively by the Albany Park Theater Project artistic staff (June 20 - June 30, 2013); By the Way, Meet Vera Stark by Lynn Nottage, directed Chuck Smith (April 27 - June 2, 2013 in the Albert); and The Jungle Book, a new musical based on the Disney animated film and the stories of Rudyard Kipling, adapted and directed by Mary Zimmerman (June 21 - July 28, 2013 in the Albert).

Goodman Theatre, "the leading regional theater in the nation's most important theater city" (Time), is a major cultural, educational and economic pillar in Chicago in its state-of-the-art two-theater complex on North Dearborn Street. Founded in 1925 and currently under the leadership of Artistic Director Robert Falls, "Chicago's most essential director" (Chicago Tribune), and Executive Director Roche Schulfer, Chicago's oldest and largest not-for-profit resident theater has welcomed nearly two million patrons to productions and events-including 10 festivals celebrating playwrights such as David Mamet, August Wilson and Horton Foote, as well as the biennial Latino Theatre Festival-and served legions of students through its Education and Community Engagement programs (including the FREE Student Subscription Series and other interactive programs). The Goodman has earned more than 90 awards for hundreds of productions, including the Pulitzer Prize for Ruined by Lynn Nottage-one of 25 new work Goodman commissions in the last decade. American Airlines is the Exclusive Airline of Goodman Theatre. Ruth Ann M. Gillis is Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Sherry John is President of Women's Board and Lauren Blair is President of the Scenemakers Board, the Goodman's young professionals auxiliary group.

Visit the Goodman virtually: watch artist interviews, view production photos, catch the latest news and more at Like us on; follow us at; and peek behind the scenes at

Related Articles

Chicago THEATER Stories | Shows  Like BWW Chicago  Follow BWW Chicago

From This Author BWW News Desk

Before you go...