"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 GoodmanTheatre.org, 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.
Robert Falls TALKS AND TWEETS ABOUT MEASURE FOR MEASURE
"THE INTERVIEW SHOW" AT THE HIDEOUT
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.
LIVE Q & A ON TWITTER
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