A political leader who goes missing. A government crackdown on lewd behavior. A seemingly pious public official caught in a sex scandal. You might think these scenes are ripped from Palmetto State headlines, but they’re actually plot components of William Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, first presented in the early 1600s and now given a timely revival at Columbia College’s Cottingham Theatre.
Presented by the Cambridge University American Stage Tour (CAST), Measure for Measure is the latest installment in an annual tour featuring a company of Cambridge University’s finest performers and theater technicians. The group’s performances on Thursday and Friday will be its only stop in South Carolina, and its fifth visit to Columbia College.
In addition to their evening performances, members of CAST will interact with students on campus in daytime educational workshops and via question-and-answer sessions after the shows.
“The actors often engage students in interactive techniques for appreciating Shakespeare’s language and stage direction,” says Calley Hornbuckle, associate professor of English at Columbia College. She adds that the CAST members “are great at breaking down a scene with students, and at introducing students to how actors think through a play. These workshops are fun. Students love them, and they learn a lot.”
Set in freewheeling, anything-goes Vienna, and presented in modern dress, Measure for Measure follows Duke Vincentio (Theo Hughes-Morgan), who takes a leave of absence — not to hike the Appalachian Trail, but rather to spy on his subordinates as they bring down the full force of the law onto prostitutes, fornicators, drinkers and gamblers. Rozzi Nicholson-Lailey plays Isabella, a novice nun faced with an impossible choice: surrender herself to the advances of the morally corrupt administrator Angelo (Max Upton) or allow her brother Claudio (Guy Woolf) to face a death sentence. (Claudio’s crime? Sleeping with his fiancé.)
Director Charlie Parham follows Shakespearean convention with most actors doubling or even tripling in lead and support roles, and with gender no barrier to casting. Usually classified as a comedy, Measure for Measure is also considered by many scholars to be one of Shakespeare’s most challenging “problem plays,” i.e., dramas in which dilemmas faced by the protagonists represent a problem also plaguing contemporary society.
Don’t worry — there is plenty of traditional bawdy humor too, provided by Lucio (Hugh Wyld), a bragging libertine, and Mistress Overdone (Max Upton again), a madam with nine ex-husbands.
Past seasons for CAST have included Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Tempest, Macbeth and Antony and Cleopatra, which have been presented at high schools, Ivy League universities, and professional theatres along the East Coast. Over the past 14 years, and with the patronage of Dame Judi Dench, the Cambridge American Stage Tour has given students the opportunity to tour America while developing their professional theatrical skills both in front of and behind the curtain.
“The opportunity to interact with theater students and the production crew from the United Kingdom is so exciting for our campus community,” says Laurie Hopkins, provost of Columbia College. “CAST does an amazing job with their traveling productions, and we are honored to be one of the venues for their tour of eastern states.”
Performances are at Columbia College’s Cottingham Theatre, and curtain time is 7:30 p.m. both Thursday, Sept. 12, and Friday, Sept. 13. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students, military and senior citizens, and free with a Columbia College ID. Special pricing is available for class groups, though teachers should be aware that the play contains mature themes and subject matter. Reservations are strongly recommended. Box office hours are 2 to 5 p.m. Wed-Fri, and 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. performance nights. Call 786-3850 for reservations or more information.
A two-day outdoor art and crafts show celebrating its 38th year. Being held on September 5 & 6, 2014, Click for details
Music Break at Music Farm Columbia
Join COR for an evening of networking for music and business leaders on September 3rd, featuring performances by Josh Roberts and the Hinges, Death of Paris, Fat Rat Da Czar, and Lazy A and the Green Thang. Free admission for musicians and members! Register here.
Back to School Tattoo Specials
Magnum Ink is offering 1/2 off all tattoos for students over 18 as well as 2 for $60 on letters or numbers for state employees. 1405 Rushmore Road, Suite B, right off of Broad River.
Happy Hour and Sushi Specials All Week
Red Bowl in Lexington now has great early bird and late night sushi specials 7 days a week, as well as 99-cent kids meals on Saturdays! Click here for special information and hours.
Accepting Applications for Shakespeare’s Kidz!
Students ages 10-16 are invited to join South Carolina Shakespeare’s new youth company, with classes running September 20th-December 11th followed by a final performance. Learn and hone audition skills, monologues, and scenes from Shakespeare and modern works! Contact Katie Mixon with questions about scholarships and applications: PKatieMixon@gmail.com.
Not Your Typical Greek Restaurant
Ariana’s in West Columbia serves up delicious all-natural, low carb dishes, as well as homemade bread and baklava. Come try the best salad dressing in town! Location info and hours here.
SEARCH FREE TIMES
U.S. Security Associates
Now hiring immediately for armed and unarmed security officers. WE TRAIN YOU! Columbia & surrounding areas. ussecurityassociates.com
Pool Cleaning-Full and part time available. Must have a clean driving record, be organized and have a professional appearance. Starting Pay is $10.00 per hr, please call for an interview, please bring a copy of your Driving record and a list of all past employers with duration of employment listed as well as telephone numbers for references. Cal 803-865-1200
Company seeking carpenters, plumbers, masons work is year around with a 40 year old company. Starting pay is $10.00 but experienced individuals will be compensated accordingly. Must have a clean driving record and must bring a copy of your driving record to the interview. Please call 803-865-1200.