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Measure for Measure

University of Notre Dame’s touring Actors from the London Stage program returns to San Antonio, this time with a production of one of Shakespeare’s lesser known plays, Measure for Measure. Believed to be written midway through his career, Measure for Measure centers on themes of law and justice — in the play, the Duke of Vienna leaves the city in the hands of a judge, who follows the letter of the law with a vicious strictness. A hapless victim of his draconian policies is Claudio, who is accused of impregnating his beloved Juliet without a proper betrothal, which carries a punishment of death. As friends and family of Claudio seek to avert this fate, the judge’s true hypocrisy is revealed, and it takes some tricksy maneuvers to prevent injustice. The play will be presented in the company’s trademark style, as a five-person performance that embraces a minimal, black-box aesthetic not usually associated with productions of the Bard’s expansive work. The small cast also allows the performers to showcase their talents, as they play a range of characters (including some gender-bending at key moments), and keeps the focus on the words as they are evoked by the actors’ performance.

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