California Shakespeare Theater finishes its 43rd Season with Measure for Measure

California Shakespeare Theater finishes its 43rd Season with Measure for Measure


Internationally-renowned director Tyne Rafaeli makes her
Cal Shakes debut with Shakespeare’s dark comedy


Berkeley, CA, August 23 California Shakespeare Theater finishes its 43rd Season with Measure for Measure in our first-ever co-production with Santa Cruz Shakespeare.

Deceit and duplicity take center stage in Shakespeare’s dark satire that closes out the 2017 Cal Shakes season. Devious new ruler Angelo is turning the city upside down with his puritanical orders: after setting Vienna in a tail spin by closing down all the brothels and declaring ‘fornication’ punishable by death, he lusts after aspiring nun Isabella and hypocritically imprisons her brother, Claudio. Isabella’s faith is put to the test when Angelo gives her an ultimatum: save her brother’s life by giving up her chastity. Desperate times call for a subversive spirit, and Isabella’s virtue faces off against misdeeds of those who claim the weight of the law. Deftly mixing comedy and tragedy, director Tyne Rafaeli wrestles with questions of consent and agency over one’s body (both politic and personal) in this gritty yet humorous staging of Measure for Measure.

“Tyne Rafaeli’s production lands with grace, wit, hysterical comedy and chilling clarity—above all else by a true sense of our humanity, strengths, flaws and all,” says Cal Shakes Artistic Director Eric Ting. “It’s been such a pleasure working with Mike Ryan and Santa Cruz Shakespeare; and we’re thrilled to be continuing the journey at the Bruns!”

Rafaeli says, “Measure for Measure is an arrestingly modern play; a wickedly dark comedy mixing political intrigue, sexual politics and social justice. This is a world in which swaggering gangsters from the underbelly of society smash up against those who wield extreme political power. And at the center of the maelstrom is the extraordinary Isabella. Both satirical and serious, the play asks vital questions about control; about how our bodies become the territory in which battles for this control are played out. It also asks ancient questions about the nature of justice and the experience of being ruled, which carry a fascinating resonance for our own time.

Lowpriced previews take place September 13-15; Opening Night is September 16, and performances continue through October 8 at the Bruns Amphitheater. Press night will be held Saturday, September 16, at 8pm. Tickets (ranging from $20$92) are available through the Cal Shakes Box Office at 510.548.9666 or by visiting Ticket prices are subject to change without notice. 

Tyne Rafaeli is a British-American director who trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and Columbia University. She has directed classics, new plays and musicals in London and the US and her work has been seen at Classic Stage Company, New York Stage and Film, Goodspeed Opera House, Juilliard, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Great Lakes Shakespeare, American Players Theater, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, O'Neill Playwright's Conference and PlayPenn, among others. Tyne has also served as Associate Director on the West End and Broadway productions of The King and I, The Bridges of Madison County, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Fiddler on the Roof, and Golden Boy. She is a 2016-18 Time Warner Directing Fellow at the Women's Project Theatre and received the 2014 SDC Sir John Gielgud Fellowship for Classic Direction.

This production features many newcomers to the Bruns making their Cal Shakes debuts including Lindsay Rico as Isabella (A.R.T./NY Theatres, Ars Nova, and Central Arts), Rowan Vickers as Duke Vincentio (New York Theatre Workshop, The New Group, Studio Theatre, among others), David Graham Jones as Angelo (Broadway’s A Free Man of Color; Mint Theater, and NY Classical Theater), Kevin Matthew Reyes as Claudio (Odyssey Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, and Remy-Bumppo Theatre, among others), Adam Schroeder as Lucio (Utah Shakespeare Festival, Williamstown Theatre Festival, PCPA Theaterfest, among others), Annie Worden as Mariana, Elbow, and ensemble (Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis, Trinity Rep, Cherry Lane Theatre, among others). Returning to Cal Shakes are favorites Tristan Cunningham as Escalus and Juliet (Tempest tour 2015, Life is a Dream, The Comedy of Errors, among others) and Patty Gallagher as Provost and Mistress Overdone (As You Like It, Comedy of Errors, and Happy Days, among others).

Measure for Measure’s creative team includes Scenic Designer Annie Smart (whose previous designs for Cal Shakes include The Glass Menagerie, Pygmalion, and Lady Windermere’s Fan, among many others), Costume Designer Montana Levi Blanco (An Octoroon at Berkeley Rep, Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World at Signature Theatre, Pipeline at Lincoln Center Theatre), Lighting Designer Kent Dorsey (Two Gentlemen of Verona and Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps at Santa Cruz Shakespeare, and The Monster Builder at South Coast Repertory, among many others), and Sound Designer Brandon Wolcott (Playwrights Horizons, Signature, Public Theatre, and many other off-Broadway venues). Blanco and Wolcott make their Cal Shakes debuts with this production.

Single tickets for Measure for Measure range from $20 to $92, with discounts available for seniors, youth, students, military families, persons age 30 and under, and groups. Prices, dates, titles, and artists are subject to change. For information or to charge tickets by phone with VISA, MasterCard, or American Express, call the Cal Shakes Box Office at 510.548.9666. Additional information and online ticketing are available at

California Shakespeare Theater’s 2017 season is supported in part by the generosity of The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, The James Irvine Foundation, the Dean & Margaret Lesher Foundation, The Bernard Osher Foundation, and The Shubert Foundation. Corporate partners include BART, City National Bank, John Muir Health, Meyer Sound, Peet’s Coffee, and San Francisco magazine.


California Shakespeare Theater (Cal Shakes), under the leadership of Artistic Director Eric Ting and Managing Director Susie Falk, is now in its 43rd season as a nationally-recognized leader in drawing on the power of authentic, inclusive storytelling to create more vibrant communities. Serving more than 43,000 people annually, Cal Shakes invites people from all walks of life to make deeply-felt connections with our shared humanity through its work onstage, in schools, and with people in non-traditional settings throughout the Bay Area who have little or no access to theater. For more information, visit


Fast Facts about Measure for Measure

WHAT California Shakespeare Theater’s and Santa Cruz Shakespeare’s

co-production of Measure for Measure

by William Shakespeare

directed by Tyne Rafaeli

designed by Annie Smart (scenic designer), Montana Levi Blanco (costume designer), Kent Dorsey (lighting designer), and Brandon Wolcott (sound designer).

Featuring: Lindsay Rico (Isabella), Rowan Vickers (Duke Vincentio), David Graham Jones (Angelo), Kevin Matthew Reyes (Claudio), Adam Schroeder (Lucio), Tristan Cunningham (Escalus, Juliet), Annie Worden (Mariana, Elbow), Patty Gallagher (Provost, Mistress Overdone)

WHEN September 13 – October 8, 2017

Previews September 13, 14, 15 at 8pm
Press Opening September 16 at 8pm
Tuesdays through Thursdays at 7:30pm
Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm
Saturday Matinee September 23 at 2pm
Sunday Matinees at 4pm
Grounds open two hours prior to show time for picnicking. Café and full bar are available on site.

WHERE Bruns Amphitheater, 100 California Shakespeare Theater Way, Orinda, CA 94563

(just off Highway 24 at the California Shakespeare Theater Way/Wilder Rd. exit, one mile east of the Caldecott Tunnel.)

Complimentary shuttle from Orinda BART beginning 2 hours before curtain.
Complimentary parking onsite.

TICKETS Single tickets start at $20, with discounts available for seniors, students, persons age 30 and under, and groups. Cal Shakes makes twenty tickets available for $20 on a first-come, first-served basis for every performance throughout the season. Call Cal Shakes’ Box Office at 510.548.9666 between noon and 2pm to purchase. Prices subject to change.

All tickets are available through the California Shakespeare Theater Box Office, 701 Heinz Avenue, Berkeley CA, 510.548.9666, online at, or at the Bruns box office on the day of the performance (pending availability).

GROUPS Groups of 10 or more save $10 off the adult single ticket price; complimentary ticket available for groups of 15+. For more information, call 510.809.3290.




Measure for Measure Special Events

First Look, Saturday, September 9, 7-9pm, Bruns Amphitheater

Get a First Look at the production and hear from members of the artistic team days before performances begin. Artistic Director Eric Ting will moderate a Q&A with the director, followed by an opportunity to watch technical rehearsal. Free and open to the public.

Pay-What-You-Can Preview, Wednesday, September 13, 8pm

The first preview of each show is a special Pay-What-You-Can performance. Tickets are first-come, first-served, and available beginning at 6pm day of show only; to purchase, call the Cal Shakes Box Office at 510.548.9666 or visit the Bruns Amphitheater Box Office.

Opening Night & Post-Show Party, September 16, 8pm

Experience the excitement of the opening night performance and then mingle with the cast and creative team at a complimentary post-show party.

PostShow Talkbacks, Tuesday, September 19, Thursday, September 21, and Wednesday, September 27

Stay after the show for a discussion with a member of the artistic staff in the Plaza.

Open-captioned performance, Wednesday, September 20, 7:30pm

Special seating and opening-captioning for Deaf or Hard of Hearing patrons, who can read the text and dialogue on a digital screen. Purchase tickets for section A online or call the Box Office at 510.548.9666. For groups of 10 or more, email or call 510.809.3290.

Meet the Artists, Sundays, September 17 and October 1, following the 4pm performance
Audience members enjoy an opportunity to engage in a lively discussion about the production with cast. Free and open to all.

InSight Matinee, Sunday, September 24, following the 4pm matinee
Explore the world of the play through an informal dialogue with the production’s dramaturg. Free and open to all.

Grove Talks, 45 minutes before each performance
Free, informal 20-minute talks are held on site 45 minutes before each and every performance in the ADA-accessible Grove Talk grove, offering invaluable insight into the play and the production.

Community Announcements