Measure for Measure

Dear Orange Friends:

Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure is known as a “problem play” because it raises more questions than it answers and defies categories, including those of comedy and tragedy. Syracuse University Drama students, under the direction of Professor Celia Madeoy, are right now asking the questions and defying the categories in a production at the Loft Theater at Syracuse Stage. I saw the show Saturday. It is not to be missed.

I’d never been in the Loft space before. Nor had I seen Shakespeare in so intimate a setting, with no more than three rows between audience and performers, and the performance conducted all around you. Professor Madeoy set the play in 19th-century Vienna, and the themes of law, justice, religion, and temptation worked well, largely because of an outstanding cast that was clearly comfortable with ambiguity. This was a performance that included an array of outstanding and arresting music as well. If you want to see a play that makes you laugh, smile ruefully, think, worry, and see flashes of hypocrisy and enlightenment—as well as your own foibles—I urge you to go to the final performances this weekend .

Once again, as at most SU Drama performances, I had to remind myself at the conclusion that I was watching students, rather than professionals from the best companies. We are fortunate indeed to have SU Drama and Syracuse Stage in our community.


Kent Syverud's signature

Chancellor Kent Syverud