The Women's Shakespeare Company (WSC) all-female production of Measure For Measure starts previews March 30 at Altered Stages in New York City. The show opens April 2 and runs through April 23.
Featured in the production are Beatrice Cipriano, Lizzy Davis, Anne Marie Falvey, Kelli Lynn Harrison, Kate Hess, Ellen Lee, Lisa Raymond, Amy Rhodes, Kate Sandberg, Kelly Ann Sharman, Olevia White and Natalie Zea. The WSC says the production is not focused on issues of sexuality but rather features women as men -- "just as men played women's roles in Elizabethan times."
R.J. Tolan directs the all-female cast. The costume designer is Alejo Vietti and the lighting designer is Jay Ryan.
As reported earlier, production notes describe Measure for Measure as "one of the Bard's problem plays." The all-female Measure for Measure will tell the story of the Duke who wants to learn how his subjects will behave in his absence. He then leaves town, where things develop quickly in his absence and, on his return in disguise, the Duke proceeds to manipulate all of the players in this situation with consummate political skill.
Tolan is staging Measure For Measure in a film noir style, making use of venetian blinds and shafts of light.
Founded by artistic director Kelly Ann Sharman to give women roles they are not usually able to play, the Women's Shakespeare Company has also produced Henry V and Othello. Tickets are $15. Altered Stages is located at 212 West 29th Street . Tickets may be purchased by calling the box office at (212) 501-1986. For information visit www.womensshakespeareco.org.
-- By Murdoch McBride