By Lily Janiak, published on September 13, 2017 in the San Francisco Chronicle.
“Measure for Measure” is already a major accomplishment in that it marks the first time Cal Shakes and Santa Cruz Shakespeare have co-produced a play.
Sharing resources and coordinating schedules, especially for the first time, was always going to be a challenge, but Santa Cruz Shakes and Cal Shakespeare also each brought to the table different internal casting mandates: Cal Shakes to tell its stories with a broad range of actors of color, Santa Cruz Shakes to cast women in at least half its roles.
They made it work in this production, which is about a corrupt deputy, a manipulative duke, a nun blackmailed into giving up her virginity and a young lover excessively punished for fornication.
The show opens this week at Orinda’s Bruns Ampitheater after playing at the Grove at DeLaveaga Park in Santa Cruz earlier this summer.
Tyne Rafaeli directs.