Cal Shakes Closes Season with MEASURE FOR MEASURE

California Shakespeare Theater finishes its 43rd Season with Measure for Measure in our first-ever co-production with Santa Cruz Shakespeare.

Deceit and duplicity take center stage in Shakespeare's dark satire that closes out the 2017 Cal Shakes season. Devious new ruler Angelo is turning the city upside down with his puritanical orders: after setting Vienna in a tail spin by closing down all the brothels and declaring 'fornication' punishable by death, he lusts after aspiring nun Isabella and hypocritically imprisons her brother, Claudio. Isabella's faith is put to the test when Angelo gives her an ultimatum: save her brother's life by giving up her chastity. Desperate times call for a subversive spirit, and Isabella's virtue faces off against misdeeds of those who claim the weight of the law. Deftly mixing comedy and tragedy, director Tyne Rafaeli wrestles with questions of consent and agency over one's body (both politic and personal) in this gritty yet humorous staging of Measure for Measure.

"Tyne Rafaeli's production lands with grace, wit, hysterical comedy and chilling clarity-above all else by a true sense of our humanity, strengths, flaws and all," says Cal Shakes Artistic Director Eric Ting. "It's been such a pleasure working with Mike Ryan and Santa Cruz Shakespeare; and we're thrilled to be continuing the journey at the Bruns!"

Rafaeli says, "Measure for Measure is an arrestingly modern play; a wickedly dark comedy mixing political intrigue, sexual politics and social justice. This is a world in which swaggering gangsters from the underbelly of society smash up against those who wield extreme political power. And at the center of the maelstrom is the extraordinary Isabella. Both satirical and serious, the play asks vital questions about control; about how our bodies become the territory in which battles for this control are played out. It also asks ancient questions about the nature of justice and the experience of being ruled, which carry a fascinating resonance for our own time.

Low?priced previews take place September 13-15; Opening Night is September 16, and performances continue through October 8 at the Bruns Amphitheater. Press night will be held Saturday, September 16, at 8pm. Tickets (ranging from $20?$92) are available through the Cal Shakes Box Office at 510.548.9666 or by visiting Ticket prices are subject to change without notice.

Tyne Rafaeli is a British-American director who trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and Columbia University. She has directed classics, new plays and musicals in London and the US and her work has been seen at Classic Stage Company, New York Stage and Film, Goodspeed Opera House, Juilliard, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Great Lakes Shakespeare, American Players Theater, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, O'Neill Playwright's Conference and PlayPenn, among others. Tyne has also served as Associate Director on the West End and Broadway productions of The King and I, The Bridges of Madison County, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Fiddler on the Roof, and Golden Boy. She is a 2016-18 Time Warner Directing Fellow at the Women's Project Theatre and received the 2014 SDC Sir John Gielgud Fellowship for Classic Direction.

This production features many newcomers to the Bruns making their Cal Shakes debuts including Lindsay Rico as Isabella (A.R.T./NY Theatres, Ars Nova, and Central Arts), Rowan Vickers as Duke Vincentio (New York Theatre Workshop, The New Group, Studio Theatre, among others), David Graham Jones as Angelo (Broadway's A Free Man of Color; Mint Theater, and NY Classical Theater), Kevin Matthew Reyes as Claudio (Odyssey Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, and Remy-Bumppo Theatre, among others), Adam Schroeder as Lucio (Utah Shakespeare Festival, Williamstown Theatre Festival, PCPA Theaterfest, among others), Annie Worden as Mariana, Elbow, and ensemble (Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis, Trinity Rep, Cherry Lane Theatre, among others). Returning to Cal Shakes are favorites Tristan Cunningham as Escalus and Juliet (Tempest tour 2015, Life is a Dream, The Comedy of Errors, among others) and Patty Gallagher as Provost and Mistress Overdone (As You Like It, Comedy of Errors, and Happy Days, among others).

Measure for Measure's creative team includes Scenic Designer Annie Smart (whose previous designs for Cal Shakes include The Glass Menagerie, Pygmalion, and Lady Windermere's Fan, among many others), Costume Designer Montana Levi Blanco (An Octoroon at Berkeley Rep, Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World at Signature Theatre, Pipeline at Lincoln Center Theatre), Lighting Designer Kent Dorsey (Two Gentlemen of Verona and Alfred Hitchcock's The 39 Steps at Santa Cruz Shakespeare, and The Monster Builder at South Coast Repertory, among many others), and Sound Designer Brandon Wolcott (Playwrights Horizons, Signature, Public Theatre, and many other off-Broadway venues). Blanco and Wolcott make their Cal Shakes debuts with this production.

Single tickets for Measure for Measure range from $20 to $92, with discounts available for seniors, youth, students, military families, persons age 30 and under, and groups. Prices, dates, titles, and artists are subject to change. For information or to charge tickets by phone with VISA, MasterCard, or American Express, call the Cal Shakes Box Office at 510.548.9666. Additional information and online ticketing are available at

California Shakespeare Theater's 2017 season is supported in part by the generosity of The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, The James Irvine Foundation, the Dean & Margaret Lesher Foundation, The Bernard Osher Foundation, and The Shubert Foundation. Corporate partners include BART, City National Bank, John Muir Health, Meyer Sound, Peet's Coffee, and San Francisco magazine.


California Shakespeare Theater (Cal Shakes), under the leadership of Artistic Director Eric Ting and Managing Director Susie Falk, is now in its 43rd season as a nationally-recognized leader in drawing on the power of authentic, inclusive storytelling to create more vibrant communities. Serving more than 43,000 people annually, Cal Shakes invites people from all walks of life to make deeply-felt connections with our shared humanity through its work onstage, in schools, and with people in non-traditional settings throughout the Bay Area who have little or no access to theater. For more information, visit

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