Events

Measuring up “Measure for Measure”

The Old Globe and the University of San Diego recently put on a collaborative production of William Shakespeare’s play Measure for Measure, which was written in the early 1600s.. The Old Globe held multiple productions from November 10-18. The actors in the play were M.F.A. students at the University of San Diego, where only seven hopefuls are chosen from around the country to participate in USD’s M.F.A. program.

I saw the play on November 12 and was pleasantly surprised to find that I could enjoy more than just the play.

I suggest arriving at Balboa park , for any show, at least thirty to forty-five minutes before the performance is about to start. Arriving early is recommended because there may be multiple events going on throughout the park, so parking can be (will be) a pain.

The three times I saw plays at the Old Globe this fall, I arrived about an hour early and took advantage of the lovely outdoor seating and the mini outdoor pub, conveniently located right outside the entrance to the theatre. If you’re going with a group of people, this is a perfect place to relax and enjoy some time (and wine) together before you are required to be silent for the entirety of the play, aside from intermission, of course.

Two of the performances, I was fortunate enough to see this season, took place in the outdoor Lowell Davies Festival Theatre, which was an enjoyable experience. I would highly recommend going to see an outdoor performance during the Old Globe’s Shakespeare Festival, next season.

The showing of Measure for Measure took place inside the Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre. When you first walk into the building, take a moment for your eyes to adjust to the light, it is quite dark inside the theatre. This lighting, or lack thereof,  transported me into the peaceful and relaxed state of mind  to watch and enjoy the play. I felt like the muted lighting set the mood for the audience and allowed for my senses to become heightened, focusing the audience’s attention on what was happening in the center of the room; where the stage was located. The seating was in a complete circle around the stage, which at first seemed extremely tiny for an entire play to be performed on. The actors did a fine job with making the best of the room that they had, though–even employing the audience to their advantage.

As the play started, I immediately realized the downfall of being in such a small theatre– the audience around you was so close that they could become a distraction. I found my mind wandering–instead of paying attention to what was happening on the stage I began to people watch. One teenager, in particular, was falling asleep, looking as if he was about to fall off of his chair at any moment. Although I have been known to thoroughly enjoy a healthy dose of people watching, this distraction took away from simply enjoying the play.

I have to commend the actors for not getting as distracted as I was with the audience. They did an excellent job of remaining focused and other than a few minor errors, did a wonderful job performing. One part I really enjoyed was in the second half of the play. Here, it seemed as if the actors began to loosen up and have more fun with the performance. Sean-Michael Wilkinson, the actor playing Pompey, did a wonderful job interacting with the audience. Another actor, who I felt did an extremely exceptional job getting into character, was Jeremy Fisher. He  played the wonderfully hilarious and flamboyantly dressed character, Lucio, and was definitely the comic relief in the play.

Overall my experience at the Old Globe and the University of San Diego’s production of Measure for Measure, was an enjoyable one. From wine and good company before the play, to sleeping teenagers and flamboyantly dressed men during the play, I would definitely take the time to see another (a fourth) production of the Old Globe’s and recommend others to as well!

 

Check out the Old Globe’s production lineup here

Another Playground Diaries editor, Antonia, also saw a production at the Old Globe theatre. Take a look at her Dr. Seuss inspired review on the production of How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

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