2020/21 Digital Season
Plays from the Lantern Archives:
MEASURE FOR MEASURE
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Charles McMahon
STREAMING ON DEMAND
April 6 - May 2, 2021
"A brilliant production." –Philadelphia Inquirer
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. This major play in the Bard's canon will surprise and move you with its timely insights into human motivation and resilience.
Measure for Measure is part of Plays from the Lantern Archives, a new series celebrating some of the finest productions from recent Lantern seasons, brought vividly back to life on screen. This performance was professionally filmed with a live theater audience in April 2019.
WATCH THE TRAILER
MEASURE FOR MEASURE on THE LANTERN SEARCHLIGHT BLOG
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FROM THE ARCHIVES Artist Interview: Charles McMahon
The Measure for Measure director on the play's plot and the psychology that drives the central characters.
FROM THE ARCHIVES "My absolute power and place": Power and Succession in Shakespeare's Plays
The Duke in Measure for Measure gives away his power, with dangerous results. How does this act fit in with Shakespeare's time and canon?
FROM THE ARCHIVES QUIZ: Justice and Mercy in Shakespeare's Writing
Measure for Measure asks whether mercy can be preferable to justice. Can you identify other Shakespeare plays that ask this question?
FROM THE ARCHIVES Extremism in Shakespeare's Time
Though set in a Catholic world, Measure for Measure's fundamentalism was also present in Shakespeare's Protestant England.
FROM THE ARCHIVES The Duke, Angelo, and Vienna: The Dangers of Unaccountable Leaders
"O, it is excellent to have a giant's strength, but it is tyrannous to use it like a giant." –Isabella in Measure for Measure
FROM THE ARCHIVES Shakespeare's Problem Plays
Measure for Measure defies easy characterization, but its themes of gendered power dynamics, bodily autonomy, and political hypocrisy remain disturbingly relevant.
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Chris Anthony as Claudio / Ensemble • Kirk Wendell Brown as Escalus / Ensemble • Ben Dibble as Angelo / Ensemble • Adam Hammet as Pompey / Ensemble • Claire Inie-Richards as Isabella / Ensemble • Anthony Lawton as The Duke / Ensemble • Jered McLenigan as Lucio / Barnardine / Ensemble • Charlotte Northeast as Mistress Overdone / Mariana / Ensemble
THE CREATIVE TEAM
Dirk Durossette, Scenic Designer • Janus Stefanowicz, Costume Designer • Drew Billiau, Lighting Designer • Mary Kate Smyser, Sound Designer • Rebecca Smith, AEA Stage Manager • David Bardeen, Assistant Director
NEWS & REVIEWS
"A brilliant production. Problem solved. Measure for Measure is one of Shakespeare's "problem plays," troubling directors and scholars for four centuries, and each production, each reader, each audience arrives at its own interpretation. Charles McMahon has found one solution, and it's brilliant." –The Philadelphia Inquirer more
"While I won't give away how McMahon handled the (actually textually important) turn at the conclusion of the play, I will tell you that I found it very, very satisfying. An excellent ensemble... It's through the strength of all the players – and a fresh, modern take on Measure for Measure that nods to the present day without shoehorning it into the text – that the Lantern's production succeeds, answering my early anxiety with a gratifying finish." –Broad Street Review more
"The Lantern's production is a clear-eyed and engaging exploration of a cynical society, funny and biting without succumbing to cynicism itself. The struggle to chart some kind of moral course in a corrupt and occasionally nonsensical world is as pressing now as 400 years ago..." –PlayShakespeare.com more
"An innovative production... A fresh look at this problematic but timely work starring some of the area's best dramatic talent in multiple roles and a steady hand of experienced directorial energy from Charles McMahon. Lantern has made a great contribution to this region s cultural life by making the Bard so accessible to contemporary audiences." –Montgomery News
"Whether you are a Shakespeare fan or not, this is a production you won't want to miss." –Beyond My Backyard more
The Philadelphia Tribune talks with actor Kirk Wendell Brown about his love of Shakespeare, Measure for Measure's relevance to the #MeToo movement, and more: "I thoroughly enjoy being part of a collaboration where I get to share the human condition with others." more
Header Photo: Lawrence Stallings in the world premiere of Me and the Devil (2021); Anthony Lawton and Dave Johnson in Travesties (2022); Melissa Rakiro and Joanna Liao in Twelfth Night (2023); and Paul L. Nolan, Sally Mercer, and Charles McMahon in Copenhagen (2018). Photos by Mark Garvin.
Lantern Theater Company acknowledges that it is situated on Lenapehoking, the ancestral and spiritual homeland of the Unami Lenape, and we pay respect to them as this region's original storytellers.