by William Shakespeare

Seattle Shakespeare Company
Seattle, WA

Scenic: Phillip Lineau
Costumes: Christine Tschirgi
Lighting: Andrew D. Smith
Sound: Evan Mosher

“Director Desdemona Chiang is exceedingly comfortable melding bawdy clowning with displays of disturbing avarice in Measure for Measure. Chiang has established herself as one of Seattle finest directors with her razor-sharp stagings of bleak modern works like Gruesome Playground Injuries and Red Light Winter. Her Measure for Measure is another incisive exercise of tonal control; here, the horrific and the humorous exist simultaneously… Thanks to Chiang’s smart direction, the play’s knotty contradictions aren’t allowed to easily untangle. Now that’s how you direct a “problem play.”

Dusty Somers, BlogCritics

Measure for Measure bulges with dinner-party taboos and municipal dilemmas. This succinct yet itchy “unfestive comedy,” per my old Bevington edition in college, looks at the distortions and power abuses that result within a society that overregulates human affairs—literally. In this legalistic dystopia, marriage costs money; and by fornicating outside of marriage, you can lose your head—again, literally. The incarceration industry, drugs, prostitution, and other social ills proliferate amid the systemic suppression of biological drive… Measure for Measure has an unstable ending for a comedy, handled wonderfully by Chiang (with a smart line cut that provides a split-second of sitcom perfection). Lust and justice are perilous companions.”



Margaret Friedman, Seattle Weekly

“While people proclaim Measure for Measure Shakespeare’s problem play, and it is not nearly the funniest of his comedies, the current production at Seattle Shakespeare Company hits all the right buttons in the production and makes it as intelligible and justified as it might possibly be… Director Desdemona Chiang cast a beautifully nuanced group of actors that subtly reinforce other messages Shakespeare might never have intended, but in this production can be pondered and witnessed… In many ways, the themes of this play can be viewed as some of the most timeless (besides love stories which will never die) of Shakespeare’s canon. We’ll never know monarchies and may not care much about English history, but we all know people with power and how it might be abused, and are confronted on a daily basis with hypocrisies of politicians. This production brings out every nuance of those subjects in a clear, cogent, exciting way.”

Miryam Gordon, Seattle Gay News