The beauty about “Measure” is the way it was directed. Every actor had their “area” they stayed in but because of the scripting, it was made where every actor had conflict or ties with another character. The lay out made it so all individuals and audience members could see actors moving around from room to room or from bedroom to the bartender station all while acting. The direction of the play had characters running after one another or dancing with another. Not only was the director good at his job for choosing the cast, he choose a cast that was willing to do anything for the show to be a big success!
I went to see the play “Measure” directed by Elizabeth Brazen Palmieri and Carrie Winship on Wednesday at the Greenhouse Theater. The play is essentially about mini problems that a few individuals are facing. Angelo (Michael Bayler) is in love with Isabella (Jenny Hipscher) and tries to express his love for her, but she does not feel the same way about Angelo and, if anything, is angry with him. Angelo is trying to kill Claudia (Elizabeth Brazen Palmieri) because she’s pregnant and at a young age and thinks she’s a whore and she happens to be Isabella’s sister. There is also Lucia (Rosemary McGraw) and Mistress Overdone (Alison Kertz) who also play a role in this drama fest. While characters are roaming throughout the entire gallery, they are met with Duke Vincent (Jackson Harned) at the end that finalizes everyone’s destiny.
By far, “Measure” was my favorite play I’ve seen and I know that casting the right people was crucial for making it successful. The writing of the play, in my opinion, calls for individuals who have the ability to change up their tone/attitude quickly and naturally, people who know how to dance and who know how to be comfortable moving around while saying their lines. The actors did fulfill the roles required, I think. All the actors remained in character while moving around and did it with power and lots of energy. An example is in a lot of the arguing scenes between Angelo and Isabella because they bring out hand gestures and a lot of touching moments and make them come to life. After the play, Angelo (Michael Bayler) told me after the play that a few moments I was stuck in the room alone with him, he actually made up all those things he did in closed doors, which is something not everyone can do! He really tricked me and I was impressed! I think the director did have somewhat a vision in her mind when picking the characters. Obviously, she had to get females/males in their proper gender roles and I’m sure talent was a biggie! All the actors did everything with big movements and emphasized words. An example is when all the actors go in and out of rooms yelling and screaming at one another about different things. Like when Lucia would tell Angelo about Isabella and her rude remarks about her. Or when Mariana (Isabel Accurso) tricked Angelo into marrying her. Not many people can just transition that naturally and be able to then pause, so the director probably was looking at who can do things like that so they can convey the play’s message to the audience.
I think having the director make the play in various rooms helped a lot. Much of the play consisted of the actors going in and out of rooms and then running from room to room. I liked that set up because it allowed me to find out secret information from characters about what was going to happen. For example when the whole issue about killing Claudia came out and I was stuck inside the room, Angelo kept saying things about her. I liked that the director allowed things like this to happen (where I could get stuck with Angelo) because it was easier for me to interpret how individuals felt about one another. An example is when Angelo made his “likes, hates and kill” pages. I was able to quickly see whom he was going to go after, so that staging was pretty creative. When talking about spaces, I do believe that some spaces where targeted to be to one character over another. Examples are Angelo’s room and Claudia and her area near the cross. Angelo would always go back to the room a lot and people would always come inside to talk, but he rarely went to another. A lot of what was in there I think reflected just Angelo (his weights, photos, hit list and writings). Claudia was made to stay in the area of the Cross because of her situation with getting pregnant and needing forgiveness. I do believe that was intently from the director’s side. I really think she did it as a symbolic thing. One thing I did like was that even though the director gave the main characters rooms of their own, she also mapped out and put different actors in different conflicts so they can come out and move around (ex: Angelo and Claudia)