Palm Beach County’s longest-running summertime cultural tradition returns when the Palm Beach Shakespeare Festival and Palm Beach County Parks & Recreation present the Shakespeare by the Sea XXXIII production of William Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure.
Performances will take place at the Seabreeze Amphitheater in Jupiter’s Carlin Park on July 6-9 and July 13-16. The encore performance of Shakespeare by the Palms III, presented by the Village of Royal Palm Beach, will run July 20-23 at the Royal Palm Beach Commons Park amphitheater.
In Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, the city is plagued by vice, and the Duke has departed on a secret mission, entrusting his minister, Angelo, to govern and maintain order. Angelo takes his role too seriously, and when Claudio is apprehended, Lucio enlists Sister Isabella’s help. However, Isabella is unwilling to meet Angelo’s unreasonable demands for Claudio’s freedom. To resolve the situation and expose Angelo’s double standards, the Duke devises a clever plan.
“Measure for Measure is about duplicity, duality and disguise, explored in various interweaving plots,” Artistic Director Trent Stephens said. “The Palm Beach Shakespeare Festival is known for its innovative and imaginative interpretations of Shakespeare’s works, often exploring them in unconventional settings. This summer’s production will focus on the play’s contrasting themes of spiritual and secular life, and what better place to stage it than in New Orleans during the festive Mardi Gras season?”
It is not a Shakespeare play often seen on the stage.
“While Measure for Measure isn’t produced as much as Shakespeare’s other comedies, its production history seems to coincide with societal examinations of sexuality, morality and justice,” Stephens said. “Like any good play, it presents more questions than answers, but the representation of these nuanced issues, coupled with a sense of humor, offers audiences space to think about these themes in a playful way.”
Shakespeare by the Sea XXXIII takes place at the Seabreeze Amphitheater in Carlin Park, located at 750 South Florida A1A in Jupiter. Shakespeare by the Palms III will be at the Commons Park amphitheater at 11600 Poinciana Blvd. in Royal Palm Beach.
Performances start at 8 p.m. and go until 10 p.m. with a 15-minute intermission. Gates open at 6:30 p.m. for pre-show entertainment. Visitors are invited to bring a beach chair, blanket and picnic basket. On-site concessions will be available.
Admission is free with a suggested donation of $5 per person. Visit www.pbshakespeare.org for more information.