Comic relief balances weighty issues of 'Measure for Measure'

imageSUNY Oswego’s theatre department will close its season with one of Shakespeare’s weightiest pieces, “Measure for Measure.” While political and moral issues drive the play, a few characters provide a wicked sense of comic relief, director Mark Cole said.

“Characters Mistress Overdone, a bawd, and her street-smart servant Pompey; Elbow, the simple constable; Froth, a foolish gentleman; Barnadine, a dissolute prisoner; and the insolent libertine, Lucio, all bring a comic vitality to the play,” explained Cole, professor and chair of the SUNY Oswego theatre department.

“With these eccentric characters, Shakespeare blends a vibrant, bawdy sense of comedy into the tragic story of Isabella, Angelo, Claudio and the Duke,” he added.

“Measure for Measure” examines the nature of absolute power and the abuse of authority. First performed in 1604-05, the themes and ethical dilemmas are still relevant in the 21st century, Cole noted.

A preview performance of “Measure for Measure” will have an 8 p.m. curtain time Thursday, April 21, with all seats priced at $5.

The show’s run will continue with 8 p.m. showings April 22, 23 and 30. A Sunday matinee will begin at 2 p.m. May 1. Tickets cost $10 ($9 for seniors and students, $7 for SUNY Oswego students).

Due to mature themes, the play is suggested for ages 16 and above.

For information or reservations, contact Tyler Hall box office at or 312-2141.

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PHOTO CAPTION: Measuring up—From left, Kathryn Schwartz (Mistress Overdone), Steve Mazzoccone (Lucio) and Nathaniel Angstrom (Pompey) will provide some of the comic relief in the upcoming SUNY Oswego theatre production “Measure for Measure.”

(Posted: Apr 08, 2005)