Lantern Theater Company Presents William Shakespeare's MEASURE FOR MEASURE

Performances of Measure for Measure begin today, continuing Lantern Theater Company's 25th anniversary season and its annual commitment to produce the timeless stories of William Shakespeare for both the general public and local school students. Lantern Artistic Director Charles McMahon directs an ensemble cast of Lantern veterans, including Chris Anthony, Kirk Wendell Brown, Ben Dibble, Adam Hammet, Claire Inie-Richards, Anthony Lawton, Jered McLenigan, and Charlotte Northeast. Theater critics and members of the press are invited to request tickets for opening night on Wednesday, March 20 at 7 p.m. by contacting Anne Shuff at ashuff@lanterntheater.org. The expanded six-week performance schedule runs Thursday, March 14 through Sunday, April 21, 2019.

This major play in the Bard's canon will surprise and move modern audiences with its timely insights into human motivation and resilience. When the power of the State is put in the service of one man's lust, Shakespeare creates one of his greatest heroines to combat the abuse. Isabella's courage and brilliance are called upon to fight back against power, corruption, and sexual blackmail. Regarded as one of Shakespeare's "problem plays," Measure for Measure is ostensibly a comedy, but with plotting that is far darker and more nearly tragic than in his pure comedies. While Measure for Measure defies easy characterization, its themes of political hypocrisy, gendered power dynamics, and bodily autonomy remain disturbingly relevant today.

"The urgency of the human problems on display in Measure for Measure is immediately recognizable to our current age," noted Charles McMahon, who helms the production. "We wrestle with these issues in almost every one of the powerful institutions in which generations of Americans have entrusted their good faith and life's labors. Church, government, the legal system, and almost every industry have been exposed as riven with systemic corruption, sexual harassment, and grotesque self-interest. This is the world that Shakespeare examines, and it is the world we confront when we read the morning news."

Lantern Theater Company will delve into the world of Measure for Measure on its Lantern Searchlight blog, available online at lanterntheater.org/searchlight. Published articles will explore Shakespeare's "problem plays," religious extremism in Shakespeare's time, the dangers of unaccountable leaders, and Measure for Measure's connection to modern themes. New content will be added throughout the production's run.

Tickets for Measure for Measure are $28 - $43 and are available online at lanterntheater.org or by calling the Lantern Box Office at (215) 829-0395. Student tickets are $15 in advance; $10 student rush tickets are available ten minutes before curtain with valid ID. Discounts are also available for theater industry professionals ($10 in advance or at the door), seniors 65 and up, groups of 10 or more, and U.S. military personnel. Lantern Theater Company is located at St. Stephen's Theater, 10th & Ludlow Sts. in Center City Philadelphia.

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