Measure for Measure
coming to a park near you
Lesser-known Shakespeare play a first for Repercussion Theatre
By Barbara Ford
Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall.
– Escalus, Measure for Measure
For the first time in its 31-year history, Repercussion Theatre is presenting William Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure for its summer tour of Shakespeare-in-the-Park, visiting Montreal and surrounding area parks from July 11 to August 11, 2019.
Also a first is that the text which, for the past 3 years has been translated into French and accessible on smartphones for Francophone fans of the Bard, is now available in English as well, enabling Anglophone audiences to follow the artful language, courtesy of Plank Design.
‘O, what may man within him hide,
Though Angel on the outward side…’
– Duke Vincentio, Measure for Measure
Measure for Measure is one of Shakespeare’s later plays, written at the start of the reign of King James, and around the same year that said monarch began work on his version of the Bible.
In the play, the Duke of Vienna, concerned by his city’s moral depravity, puts his sternest deputy, Lord Angelo, in charge. Angelo immediately launches a massive cleanse of the Renaissance “sin city” while the Duke roams the streets in disguise, to observe his social experiment. Lord Angelo’s inflexible approach to law enforcement condemns Juliet’s fiancé, Claudio, to death for the crime of impregnating her out of wedlock, despite their impending marriage.
When Claudio’s sister, the virtuous and chaste Isabella, begs Lord Angelo to spare her brother’s life, her beauty and his newly granted power corrupt his judicial impartiality, and he makes an impossible proposal to a woman about to become a nun. In the end, everyone escapes mostly unscathed, while the audience is left to ponder whether justice has truly been served.
‘As long as scholars could not decide whether this play was a comedy or not, it never got played. In fact, this ambiguity makes it one of the most revealing of Shakespeare’s works.’
– Peter Brooks
“Shakespeare’s stories are multifaceted, reflecting the complexities of human behaviour and relationships; I think it’s one of the reasons his plays still ring true so many centuries after his death,” said Amanda Kellock, Repercussion Theatre’s Artistic Director and the director of this production. “Exploring the ways in which his stories still resonate is thrilling to me; it allows us to look at our own time with fresh eyes. Conversely, discovering how many issues have endured all this time can be a bit discouraging, but looking away never solved a problem.”
She continued, “This play focuses particularly on the hypocrisy of those in authority; how the laws they create can ignore human frailty and are not always applied equally. It shows a powerful man threatening a woman, confident that he will not face any consequences because of his social standing and reputation, an all-too-familiar contemporary situation. It’s no surprise this play was quoted frequently during the Kavanaugh/Blasey-Ford trial last year in the U.S.”
‘Exploring the ways in which his stories still resonate is thrilling to me; it allows us to look at our own time with fresh eyes.’
– Amanda Kellock, Artistic Director, Repercussion Theatre, director of Measure for Measure
“Measure for Measure is not done often so I’m thrilled to introduce it to Shakespeare-in-the-Park fans,” said Kellock. Repercussion Theatre alternates its programming each year between comedy and tragedy. Following last year’s Romeo and Juliet, and given the current global state of affairs, Kellock found Measure for Measure a fitting choice this summer, rich with the kind of truthful humour that makes audiences cringe as they laugh. “Although,” she added, “there are plenty of lighter moments, especially in the form of Elbow, the adorably, verging on terrifyingly, inept policeman!”
For the fourth consecutive year, all Montrealers will be able to enjoy every nuance of the Bard’s language thanks to Plank Design, and its unique application that enables Francophone and Anglophone audiences to follow the text by reading sub-titles on their smartphones.
Once again, Repercussion Theatre is partnering with Geordie Productions to introduce young audiences to the fascinating world of William Shakespeare through playful, innovative workshops. There are seven 2-hour workshops, from 4 pm to 6:15 pm, for kids and teens at a cost of $35.
Participants will explore Shakespeare’s language, as well as some of the characters and themes in the play, in a fun, accessible way. They will also have the opportunity to meet the cast of Measure for Measure. There is a maximum of 10 students per class. Parents can register their children at: geordie.ca/gtsworkshops
Shakepeare-Before-the-Show workshop schedule
13 to 17-year-olds
11 to 17-year-olds
10 to 15-year-olds
11 to 17-year-olds
8 to 12-year-olds
13 to 17-year-olds
Wednesday, July 17
Thursday, July 25
Saturday, August 3
Thursday, August 8
Saturday, August 10
Saturday, August 10
Pine Beach Park
The tour is designed to be performed outdoors; however, there are alternate indoor locations in walking distance of the respective park at most locations. A show is cancelled ONLY in case of heavy rain and/or thunderstorms. Updates will be available by website, social media channels, and phone. To stay abreast of last-minute changes in the performance schedule, follow Repercussion Theatre on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, or call 514-931-2644.
All shows begin at 7 pm.
For park details & maps, visit repercussiontheatre.com/sitp2019-en/
11 – Baie d’Urfé
12 – Ville Saint-Laurent
13 – Pierrefonds
14 – Brossard
16 – Westmount
17 – Westmount
18 – Ville de Mont-Royal
19 – Parc-Extension
20 – Knowlton
21 – Cornwall
23 – Notre-Dame-de-Grâce
24 – Kirkland
25 – Côte Saint-Luc
26 – Beaconsfield
28 – Huntingdon
30 – Verdun
31 – Hudson
1 – LaSalle
2 – Outremont
3 – Le Plateau-Mont-Royal
4 – Rivière-des-Prairies
6 – Ville-Marie
7 – Le Plateau-Mont-Royal
8 – Dorval
9 – Morin Heights
10 – Westmount
11 – Westmount
About Repercussion Theatre
The mission of Repercussion Theatre is to deliver professional, classically based, visually dynamic theatre that is accessible to all, regardless of income, culture, language, age or education. Repercussion brings the performing arts to people in their communities, reaching new audiences and instilling in them, a lifelong love of theatre.
For more information, visit repercussiontheatre.com
Feature image: Valerie BaronRead also: other articles about Repercussion Theatre
Barbara Ford Barbara has been involved with the performing arts in one way or another for most of her life, first on stage as a professional dancer/choreographer and latterly behind the scenes in marketing and communications. She now uses her knowledge and experience to promote the work of other artists.