The Vortex's modern spin on Shakespeare

By: Jamison Wagner, Staff Reporter| Photos courtesy of The Vortex Theater

1-2“Measure for Measure,” a William Shakespeare play, will be performed in modern dress from June 27 to July 4 at the Vortex Theatre, director Denise Schulz said.

According to the Vortex press release, this play has been considered to be strange, dated and a problem play at times, but it is full of con­temporary relevance and is guaranteed to entertain and engage.

“This is a play that is about hypocrisy. It is about people trying to tell other people how to live their lives, which is very much an issue in modern times” said Schulz.

A parallel to this play in modern times is how people are objecting to other people engaging in same-sex marriage. This play is saying that people are going overboard right now in making some deci­sions in how people should live, as well as attempting to make it into law, she said.

“I am working to not beat this idea over people’s heads but I think the prob­lem of trying to tell others how to live their lives has come up a lot in the last few years,” she said.

This play is a Shakespeare rendi­tion but is the Vortex performance will be based in the modern era. The attire will be modern dress but the play will not be set in a particular city, she said. The audience members will be able to watch it and draw their own conclusions, she said.

The play is a prob­lem play as it is comedy that is not comedy, but it is drama at its  finest, said Rhiannon Frazier, who plays Isabelle in the production

“We have had debates in the cast in the context of the play which is, ‘Would you sleep with a guy to save your brother’s life?’ The play poses some very interesting questions, that some of Shakespeare’s other plays do not pose because the questions do not have answers and the play itself does not answer those questions,” she said.

The play is a bit weird as many of the character’s motivations are a bit murky, said Grey Blanco, who plays Claudio in the production. Claudio only appears in two scenes, even though he is really affected by what happens in this play as Claudio sits in jail for so long between the two scenes that he is different by the time he shows up again in the second scene, he said.

“I think a lot of what is weird about this char­acter is the way he would behave in normal life is not the way he is behaving here because he is under arrest the whole time. So who Claudio is, is affected by him being in a trau­matic scene,” he said.

Plot-wise, this play can be slightly un-relat­able for modern audi­ences since people do not really know what moral standards were like in the past, he said.

“One of the challenges in this play is you have conventions of ye old past which do not adhere to todays’ norm,” he said.

Tickets are $18 or $12 for students with ID. For more information about this show or for tickets, go to

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