Upcoming: Mr. Angelo at Theatre Verity

Medieval mystery plays presented Christian bible stories as tableaux in churches and were popular until about the 15th century, replaced by the rise of professional theater. Professional theater troupes in the 15th and 16th centuries furthered the telling of stories by presenting a protagonist who was influenced toward righteousness by his encounters with various embodiments of moral principles in productions that were known as morality plays. By the 17th century, plays had gotten even more abstract; William Shakespeare’s 1603 (or 1604) play Measure for Measure considered issues like mercy, justice and truth by presenting a variety of characters whose complex personalities and interactions gave audience a reason to consider what is right and what is wrong not just as broad concepts but also in how they apply to real life.

Theatre Verity’s Mr. Angelo puts a modern spin on the issues in Shakespeare’s play. Daniel Tarker’s reinterpretation of Measure for Measure asks: “Is there ever a time to compromise our ethics for the greater good?” with the story of Clay Stephens, arrested for statutory rape after getting his sixteen year old girlfriend Julie pregnant. He asks his sister Isabelle, a popular local pastor, to persuade the district attorney, Mr. Angelo, to drop the charges. DA Angelo has his own agenda in mind for Clay and Isabelle, sending Isabelle on a twisted journey through a nightmare.

Mr. Angelo opens January 14 at Odd Duck Studios on Capitol Hill (1214 -10th Ave) and runs through February 7, playing Thursday through Saturday at 8:00 pm and Sundays at 2:00 pm. Advance tickets can be found at Brown Paper Tickets.

Edited 01/08/2010 to correct the character names for Isabelle and Julie.

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