Measure for Measure

The Public Theater's Mobile Unit opens Measure for Measure in the style of a Mardi Gras parade. Original photo by Joan Marcus.
How does this performance by a cast of all black women measure up?

By Andrew Andrews

As its name suggests, the Public Theater was founded to bring theater to the public. It’s original name, The Shakespeare Workshop, likewise suggests its intention to deliver The Bard’s work specifically.

While the well-known, free Shakespeare in the Park series at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park attests to both of these principles, the company’s mobile unit is even more true to the cause, having just delivered their production of Measure for Measure to recreation centers, libraries and a YMCA across the five boroughs.

Returning home to complete the run, a cast comprised entirely of black women puts the story in the context of 1979 New Orleans, with the judge Angelo inflicting the moral letter of the law on a populace well-accustomed to the Mardis Gras atmosphere for which The Big Easy is universally known.

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Andrew Andrews attended Measure for Measure at Public Theater Shiva Theater in New York on Wednesday, November 20, 2019 @ 7:00pm to write this review.

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