Harrisburg Shakespeare Company to Present 20th Annual Free Shakespeare in the Park: Measure for Measure

Harrisburg Shakespeare Company is celebrating its twentieth year performing in Reservoir Park, and is bringing to the stage William Shakespeare’s MEASURE FOR MEASURE. Performances will be held at the Levitt Pavilion in Reservoir Park, Harrisburg, May 31-June 1, June 5-8, and 12-15 at 7:30 p.m.Harrisburg Shakespeare Company is proud to have been producing free live entertainment in Reservoir Park for the past twenty years. Their first production was A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM in 1994 and they’ve been producing successfully ever since. They have received some grants and sponsorships over the years to assist in offering this free program, but the best support comes from the community. Audience members range from people in the surrounding neighborhoods, locals, and even folks that travel the country viewing as many Shakespeare in the Park’s that they can find. HSC has entertained over 43,000 patrons in the park over the past 20 years and are looking forward to welcoming 43,000 more.

“Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall…” – Act II, scene i

Shakespeare shows us a disturbing world where love forbidden by the state is punishable by death, where redress of wrongs is only possible through coercive action and bribery, and where abuse of power is the order of the day. Put in other words: This is a timeless yet contemporary story of society not as we might wish it to be, but as it often actually is. An intriguing, challenging, and very dark comedy, Measure for Measure delves into a society’s often hypocritical attitudes toward love, personal fidelity, and marriage.

MEASURE FOR MEASURE has been known as one of Shakespeare’s “problem plays” as it fits neither as a “comedy” nor a “tragedy”.  The themes in problem plays usually speak on social issues that would’ve been relevant at the time the play was written, although it usually can be connected to current issues in the world today, which is why “problem plays” have also been known as some of the most fascinating and exciting.

Artistic Director, J. Clark Nicholson, will be directing the production this year. He notes that MEASURE FOR MEASURE is a very contemporary story, “It is about people standing on high moral ground to gain an office, and after they have the power of the office they abuse the power by doing immoral things.”

MEASURE FOR MEASURE will be presented at the Levitt Pavilion in Reservoir Park from May 31 through June 15 on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 7:30pm.  Admission is FREE.