In celebration of William Shakespeare’s 450th birth anniversary, Dulaang UP (DUP) will open its 39th season with one of his best known plays – “Measure for Measure”. A Filipino adaptation by Ron Capinding entitled “Hakbang sa Hakbang” will likewise be staged. It is under the direction of Alexander Cortez who is known for his deft handling of two Shakespearean plays previously staged by DUP – Macbeth and Richard III.
Synopsis of Measure for Measure
Measure for Measure is a dark comedy set in early 17th-century Vienna, a city of corruption, overindulgence, and immorality. It tells the story of Duke Vincentio, a well-meaning ruler who goes undercover as a friar to observe the workings of justice in his domain. He leaves the seat of leadership to Angelo, a righteous extremist who is determined to wage war against moral offenders including Claudio. Angelo then meets Claudio’s sister Isabella, an aspiring nun who ignites his lust and makes him question his own values. In turn, Isabella is given the impossible task of choosing between preserving the life of her brother or her own purity.
Shakespeare’s comedic flair sets in motion a plot that straddles the thin line between what is just and what is moral in a place where black seems to be no more definite than white. Known for its dark tone and obsession with death and judgment, Measure for Measure is often considered a “problem play” as it brings up a series of problems and then seeks to solve them. It is the last comedy that William Shakespeare wrote before his bigger and more popular tragedies, but is nonetheless still relevant in contemporary society.
A Comparison With Our Country’s Current Socio-Political Milieu
The City of Vienna is depicted as a city that is in steady moral decline, not quite sure of what constitutes justice, morality, love, power and forgiveness. The play will invite viewers to examine these themes in view of our country’s present situation. Measure for Measure/ Hakbang sa Hakbang comes across unapologetically vicious and at times achingly tender. Hovering between tragedy and comedy, the play offers a lens by which viewers can try to understand the thin line that separates good from evil, love from lust, and piety from self-righteousness.
The People Behind the Play
Dulaang UP is the country’s premier academic theater organization. It was originally established as the production arm of UP’s Speech Communication and Theater Arts Program. It has become a quasi professional group with a regular season.
Aside from Director Cortez who takes on the daunting task of mounting this play, a formidable and talented artistic staff takes care of production. These include Gino Gonzales (costumes and accessories), Faust Peneyra (set design), Meliton Roxas, Jr. (technical direction and lights), Jethro Joaquin (sound and music design), Winter David (video), Dr. Judy Ick (dramaturgy), and Erika Estacio (assistant direction).
Measure for Measure/Hakbang sa Hakbang runs from August 20 to September 7, 2014 at the Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero Theater, 2nd floor Palma Hall, University of the Philippines Diliman. For tickets, sponsorships and show buying inquiries, call Samanta Hannah Clarin or Camille Guevara 926-1349, 433-7840, 981-8500 local 2449 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Venue Capacity: 290
Ticket Price: PHP 350
TereSay is proud to be a Media Partner for Dulaang UP’s 39th Season Opener Measure for Measure/ Hakbang sa Hakbang.