University reimagines Measure
At the University of Regina in Saskatchewan, Canada, director Kathryn Bracht has heavily adapted and reimagined Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure for a contemporary audience by swapping character genders and integrating current events. Bracht’s version of Measure features a lesbian couple, Claudia and Julietta, who are expecting a child. Her Duke Vincentio and Duke Angelo have been combined into a single character whose once-beloved status with the public changes to that of a controversial figure.
The new adaptation, called ReMeasure, includes hip-hop music and dancing as well as songs from an onstage chorus to examine “social mores through a … pop culture lens.” According to the Regina Leader-Post, Bracht considers the play a “feminist reworking” of Shakespeare’s story. Its dystopian stage design sets the play in a cabaret nightclub that features elements of a church and a prison while playing on aspects of Puritanism. In order to help her script explore the “idea of absolutism,” Bracht has also added in moments from other Shakespearean plays.
Bracht has directed and performed in a number of productions. She has previously worked with Axis Theatre in Vancouver and she is a member of the Saskatchewan Playwrights’ Association.
ReMeasure will run from November 4 through 7 at the University Theatre.