April 14, 2022, 7:30 PM
Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA
A Benefit Staged Reading Featuring Christian Coulson
Directed by: Steven Maler
About The Event:
Commonwealth Shakespeare Company (CSC) hosts a one-night-only benefit staged reading of Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare, directed by Founding Artistic Director Steven Maler. This production will feature noteworthy actor Christian Coulson (Harry Potter, The Hours, Mozart in the Jungle, Nashville) as Angelo and includes a dynamic cast of the area’s extraordinary talent. Proceeds from this event will support CSC’s annual production of Free Shakespeare on the Common.
About The Play:
When the Duke of Vienna (Maurice Emmanuel Parent) leaves his deputy Angelo (Christian Coulson) in charge, he propositions novice nun Isabella (Nora Eschenheimer). Offering to save her brother from execution in return for sex, she has no idea where to turn for help. When she threatens to expose him, he tells her that nobody would believe her. Measure for Measure, considered a problem play because it combines the elements of comedy and tragedy, is Shakespeare’s timeless tale of deception, virtue, honor, and the corruption of power.
“Measure for Measure is a play that proves the timelessness and prescient nature of Shakespeare’s works. This play asks probing questions about justice and morality as it interrogates and exposes leaders who portray themselves as upstanding and just, yet are rotten to the very core. This couldn’t be more contemporary and provocative at this time of intense moral judgment and condemnation, and I look forward to exploring this provocative play with Christian [Coulson].
“I am thrilled to have Christian join CSC for this performance, having worked with us at our Shakespeare at Fenway event in 2014. As an actor, his continuing commitment to live theatre and his interest in exploring complex, contradictory characters is admirable, and I look forward to exploring this piece and how it impacts audiences today.”
–Steven Maler, Founding Artistic Director of Commonwealth Shakespeare Company:
April 14, 2022. The event will start at 7:30 pm. The anticipated run time is 2 hours 30 minutes with a 15-minute intermission.
The Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA is fully accessible. There are accessible restrooms on both levels of the Calderwood Pavilion. The Atelier 505 Parking Garage provides handicapped parking in close proximity to the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA. ASL interpretation, Audio Description, or Open Captioning may be available upon request. We are also equipped to respond to other disability-related requests. For questions or more information, please email email@example.com.
Tickets will be $100 for Reserved Seating and $50 for General Admission.
For an additional $1,000 donation, guests can join our Prospero Society to get access to an exclusive reception on the evening of April 13th with Christian Coulson at the Newbury Hotel. This event is sponsored by The Newbury Hotel.
All patrons, regardless of age, must present proof of full vaccination for COVID-19 or a recent negative test (PCR test within 72 hours, Antigen test within 24 hours) in order to enter the theatre. Masks must be worn at all times.
Siobhan Juanita Brown played Titania in CSC’s first production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1996), Lady Capulet in Romeo and Juliet (1997), Olivia in Twelfth Night (2001), and The Widow in All’s Well That Ends Well (2011). She holds a BFA degree in Performing Arts and African American studies from Emerson College and is a graduate of the A.R.T. Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University. Other credits include Suzan-Lori Parks’ The America Play at A.R.T., The Emancipation of Valet de Chambre at Cleveland Play House, Studs Terkel’s American Dreams: Lost and Found with the Acting Company, Medea and Antony and Cleopatra for Actors’ Shakespeare Project, and Adrienne Kennedy’s Funnyhouse of A Negro with Brandeis Theatre Company. She has worked extensively in arts education as the former Associate Director of Education at Citi Performing Arts Center and Director of School & Teacher Programs at Actors’ Shakespeare Project, as well as teaching for the Strand Theatre, CSC, and the Acting Company. As a playwright Siobhan wrote A Piece of Silver based on recorded conversations with her maternal and paternal grandmothers who are Mashpee Wampanoag Indian and African American, respectively. She has worked with the Wôpanâak Language Reclamation Project since 2013 and is a member of the founding teaching team of Weetumuw Katnuhtôhtâkamuq, the Wôpanâak language and culture immersion school providing academic and Indigenous education using a Montessori pedagogy for decolonization and language reclamation.
British actor Christian Colson’s stage work in the US includes Richard II at Pennsylvania Shakespeare Theatre, Constellations at The Old Globe, The Changeling at Red Bull Theatre, Travesties at the McCarter Theatre, Everything You Touch at Rattlestick Theatre; London credits include Ghosts at The Gate Theatre and Journey’s End at the West End. He played Tom Riddle in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets; other film credits include Bite Me, Love is Strange, and The Hours. He was seen on television in The Equalizer, High Fidelity, Blue Bloods, Nashville, Mozart in the Jungle, Nurse Jackie, The Good Wife, Charles II, and Little Britain. Audiobooks include: Dark Rises, The Stars We Share, and The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue. He has directed numerous shows with Cole Escola; Off-Broadway: Dying City (associate director), The Effect (assistant director), Man From Nebraska (assistant director). He is based in New York.
Photo credit: Emil Cohen
Nora Eschenheimer is delighted to return to CSC after last appearing as Miranda in The Tempest, and Imogen in Cymbeline (Elliot Norton Award nomination). Her other recent credits include Rosalind in As You Like it, Perdita in The Winter’s Tale, and Gwendolen Fairfax in The Importance of Being Earnest at the Gamm Theatre, as well as Rachel Brown in Inherit the Wind at the Ocean State Theatre Company, and the Princess of France in Love’s Labour’s Lost at the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles. She would like to thank all the scientists and healthcare workers who made a return to the live performing arts possible. www.noraeschenheimer.com | @noraeschenheimer
John Kuntz has appeared with CSC previously in Henry V, Hamlet, Much Ado About Nothing, and Twelfth Night. He is the author of over 15 full-length plays including Necessary Monsters, The Hotel Nepenthe, Starfuckers and The Salt Girl. As an actor, he has appeared with The Huntington, ART, Speakeasy and many others. He is the recipient of five Elliot Norton Awards, two IRNE Awards, a New York International Fringe Festival Award and a 2015 MCC Fellowship Award in Dramatic Writing. He is a lecturer in Theatre, Dance and Media at Harvard University, an Associate Professor at The Boston Conservatory at Berklee and is the Artistic Director of The Derrah Theatre Lab.
Karen MacDonald previously appeared as Mrs. Plant/Mrs.Vane in Universe Rushing Apart, Maria in Twelfth Night, Volumnia in Coriolanus, The Countess in All’s Well That Ends Well and Gertrude in Hamlet and directed Old Money for CSC. On Broadway, she understudied and performed the role of Amanda Wingfield in John Tiffany’s production of The Glass Menagerie. New England area credits include The Huntington Theatre, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Portland Stage, Hartford Stage, Trinity Rep, Speakeasy Stage Company, Lyric Stage, Greater Boston Stage Company, Gloucester Stage, GAMM Theatre, Israeli Stage, Sleeping Weasel, ARTS Emerson, Boston Playwrights Theatre, Bridge Rep, Boston Theatre Company, New Repertory Theatre,. The Vineyard Playhouse, Dorset Theatre Festival, Shakespeare and Company, Berkshire Theatre Festival. She has appeared with the Boston Pops and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, both at Symphony Hall and Tanglewood. She was a Founding Company Member of the American Repertory Theatre, performing in 73 productions.. She has worked nationally from The Wilma Theatre to Berkeley Rep. Karen has been awarded several IRNE and Eliot Norton Awards for her work. She received the Robert Brustein Prize for Sustained Achievement in the Theatre and the Eliot Norton Prize for Sustained Excellence. She is a graduate of Boston University and teaches at Harvard University.
Avery Nelson is a Brooklyn based Equity actor, musician and composer born and raised in Boston. With CSC, Avery acted in Romeo & Juliet and King Lear, and also served as a teaching artist, apprentice instructor, and company manager. In Boston he was last seen as Don Pedro in Much Ado About Nothing (ASP) and as an improviser and music director at ImprovBoston. Soon you can hear him voice the German Chancellor in the radio play Newts! (opposite Mo Rocca) distributed by PRX. His debut piano EP, Hammers & Felt, comes out this summer. See www.averynelson.net for updates, videos, photos, and links to Spotify and SoundCloud, and follow him on IG (@averynelsonbargar) and Twitter (@averynelsonb).
Maurice Emmanuel Parent is an award-winning actor, director, educator and mentor with 20 years of professional experience. He has over 40 credits at theatres across the nation and abroad, having performed and directed for some of Boston’s oldest and most respected companies such as the Huntington Theatre Company, Actors’ Shakespeare Project, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, SpeakEasy Stage Company, Lyric Stage Company, New Repertory Theatre, and Central Square Theater among others. His work as an actor has earned him two Elliot Norton Awards from The Boston Theater Critics Association, three Independent Reviewers of New England (IRNE) awards, and an ArtsImpulse Award. Parent’s history as an educator extends back nearly a decade. He’s taught for Northeastern University, MIT, The Boston Conservatory at Berklee, Boston University and spent nearly 6 years as a Performing Arts Specialist in the Boston Public School System. Currently Parent is a full time Professor of the Practice in the Tufts Department of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies. Parent is the co-founder and Executive Director of The Front Porch Arts Collective, “a black theatre company committed to advancing racial equity in Boston through theater.” In its fifth season, “The Porch” has quickly become a well respected voice in the Boston theatrical landscape. www.MauriceParent.com
Marc Pierre Previous CSC credits include Romeo and Juliet and King Lear. Recent credits include An Octoroon (Gamm Theatre), Gone Nowhere (Boston Playwrights Theatre), Leftovers (Company One Theatre), Brawler (Kitchen Theatre Company), Airness (Actors Theatre of Louisville), When January Feels Like Summer (Central Square Theatre), Peter and the Starcatcher (Lyric Stage), Milk Like Sugar (Huntington Theatre Company), The Flick (Gloucester Stage) TV/Film Credits: Castle Rock and Twelve (Joel Schumacher, Dir.) Other: Marc has a B.F.A. from Emerson College. He is a recipient of the Isabel Sanford Scholarship and Emerson College’s Acting Area Award.
Daniel Rios Jr.
Mark W. Soucy performed in CSC’s The Boys From Syracuse (Aegean), Love’s Labour’s Lost (Sir Nathaniel), Romeo and Juliet (Montague), and King Lear (The Duke of Albany). Other favorite roles include The Royale (Max – IRNE Award Best Supporting Actor) at Merrimack Repertory Theatre and Lobby Hero (Bill) at Capital Repertory Theatre. Mark is a fundraising consultant and has served as Theater Manager for Arlekin Players Theatre and Development Manager at New Repertory Theatre.
Fred Sullivan is celebrating 16 seasons with CSC. On the Common, Fred has played Bottom, Jaques (Norton Award winner), Ageon, Brabantio, Parolles, Menenius, First Gangster (Kiss Me Kate at the Hatch Shell) Malvolio (Norton Award nominee), Gloucester, Holoferness, Capulet, Buckingham, Stephano and he directed 2019’s Cymbeline and adapted our one-man A Christmas Carol. Most recently, Fred appeared at the Lyric Stage Company as Ben Jonson in The Book of Will and as Tim in The Cake. He spent 35 seasons as a resident actor at Trinity Repertory Company in RI where he appeared in 130 plays and received Norton and IRNE awards for Outstanding Lead Actor in Blithe Spirit and His Girl Friday. His Trinity roles included Falstaff, Harold Hill, Captain Hook, Oscar Madison, James Tyrone, Jr, Daddy Warbucks, Creon, Peer Gynt, Joe Pitt, Alfie Doolittle, Scrooge, Nick Bottom and 118 others. At Trinity, Fred directed Shooting Star, A Christmas Carol and Boeing Boeing. Fred is a Resident Director for the Gamm Theatre (25 seasons) where he directed 35 productions including Much Ado About Nothing and Hamlet (each twice) The Winter’s Tale, Macbeth, The Tempest , King Lear, and Awake at Sing (Norton Award for Outstanding Production). As an actor at Gamm, he played Donny in American Buffalo, Autolycus in The Winter’s Tale, Potter/Clarence in It’s a Wonderful Life, Aslasken in A Lie Agreed Upon and Mark Rothko in Red. Fred has also performed at NJ Shakespeare Festival, Dallas Theatre Center, Berkeley Rep, and Actor’s Theatre of Louisville. He is featured in the films: Vault, Saving Christmas (w/ Ed Asner), Mister Birthday, Agent Toby Barks and Almost Mercy. He teaches acting at Gamm and RISD.
Sarah Vasilevsky is excited to be joining CSC once again, for their performances of Romeo & Juliet (Lady Capulet) and Cymbeline. Recent favorite credits include; Measure for Measure (Isabella; CSC Apprentice Program), Romeo & Juliet (Benvolio, Lady Capulet, Shakespeare Now!), and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Helena, Titania, Shakespeare Now!). Sarah has recently graduated from Suffolk University where she studied Theatre, with a focus in Acting. SarahVasilevsky.org
Debra Wise co founded Underground Railway Theater in 1978 and has served as Artistic Director since 1998. For 25 years, URT toured nationally and abroad a repertoire of original socially-engaged productions, as well as puppet spectacles commissioned by major orchestras. In 2007, She co founded Central Square Theater, where she has helmed award-winning productions as Artistic Director (including Vanity Fair, black odyssey boston, a co-pro with The Front Porch; Constellations; The Convert), and director (an original adaptation of Christmas Carol). As an actor, she has most recently appeared in The Half-Life of Marie Curie, Vanity Fair and Homebody (Central Square Theater), Escaped Alone and Dolls House 2 (The Gamm), People Places & Things (Speakeasy). She founded and now directs Central Square Thearter’s science/theater partnership, Catalyst Collaborative@MIT, and has co-authored an ebook with videos documenting Underground Railway’s first decades as a puppet & actor, socially-engaged touring company: www.URTheaterEbook.com.
Steven Maler is the Founding Artistic Director of Commonwealth Shakespeare Company (CSC). At CSC he has been directing Free Shakespeare on the Boston Common productions since 1996, including Richard III, Love’s Labour’s Lost, King Lear, Twelfth Night, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Coriolanus, All’s Well That Ends Well, Othello, The Comedy Of Errors, As You Like It, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Taming of the Shrew, Hamlet, Much Ado About Nothing, Macbeth, Henry V, The Tempest, Julius Caesar, and Romeo & Juliet. Other CSC works include his critically acclaimed production of Naomi Wallace’s adaptation of William Wharton’s novel Birdy, Ariel Dorfman’s Death and the Maiden, the world premiere of Jake Broder’s Our American Hamlet, and the world premiere of Robert Brustein’s The Last Will. In collaboration with Boston Landmarks Orchestra, he directed A Midsummer Night’s Dream, featuring the Overture and Incidental Music of Felix Mendelssohn, as well as concert stagings of The Boys from Syracuse and Kiss Me Kate at Boston’s iconic Hatch Shell. For CSC he has also directed one-night-only readings of iconic plays featuring Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Paul Rudd, Anthony Mackie, Blair Brown, Tony Shalhoub, Brooke Adams, Leslie Uggams, David Morse, and Jeffrey Donovan among others. He conceived and directed Shakespeare at Fenway, an evening of Shakespeare scenes performed at Boston’s iconic Fenway Park, featuring Mike O’Malley, Neal McDonough, Maryann Plunkett, Jay O. Sanders, Kerry O’Malley, Seth Gilliam, Zuzanna Szadkowski, Max Von Essen, Christian Coulson, Jason Butler Harner, and many others.
In collaboration with Google, he adapted and directed a first of its kind sixty minute virtual reality film of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, entitled Hamlet 360: Thy Father’s Spirit, starring Jack Cutmore-Scott, Jay O. Sanders, Brooke Adams, and Faran Tahir. It is currently available for viewing on Boston public media producer GBH’s YouTube channel; for more information, visit www.wgbh.org/hamlet360.
Outside of CSC, he directed Maria, Regina D’Inghilterra for Odyssey Opera, Péter Eötvös’ operatic treatment of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America (U.S. Premiere) and Thomas Adès’ Powder Her Face for Opera Boston, The Turn of the Screw at New Repertory Theatre, Santaland Diaries and Chay Yew’s Porcelain at SpeakEasy Stage Company, Top Girls and Weldon Rising at Coyote Theatre, and The L.A. Plays by Han Ong at A.R.T. His New York City credits include the New York Musical Theatre Festival production of Without You, written by and starring Anthony Rapp. The production has been seen in Boston, Edinburgh, Toronto, London, and Seoul.
He received the prestigious Elliot Norton Award for Sustained Excellence, as well as for Best Production for Twelfth Night and All’s Well That Ends Well; Outstanding Director, A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Best Production, SubUrbia; Best Solo Performance, John Kuntz’s Starf***ers (which also won Best Solo Performance Award at New York International Fringe Festival). His feature film “The Autumn Heart,” starring Tyne Daly and Ally Sheedy was in the Dramatic Competition at the Sundance Film Festival.
Jenna Worden is a producer, director, and stage manager with a passion for storytelling, education, and access to the arts. Favorite CSC credits include Birdy, Universe Rushing Apart, and Our American Hamlet. Additional regional credits include New Rep Theatre, Gloucester Stage Company, Phoenix Theatre, and Childsplay AZ. She collaborates often with Brian O’Donovan and is the director and producer of A Christmas Celtic Sojourn. She earned both her BA in Theatre Studies and BSEd in History from Northern Arizona University and is constantly looking for new ways to teach and be in conversation with the past. Proud member of Actors’ Equity Association.
Joe Juknievich (he/him/his) is a freelance theatre director based in Boston, Massachusetts and a founding Company Member of Entropy Theatre. He is thrilled to be back at CommShakes after their 2017 Apprenticeship Program production of The Tempest, for which he served as the Assistant Director to Dawn M. Simmons. Recent directing include: The Skriker (Entropy Theatre), Birthday (Entropy Theatre -audiodrama), [title of show] (Firehouse Center for the Arts), The Moors (Entropy Theatre) (named in The Theatre Mirror’s “Favorite Theatrical Experiences of 2019”), The Rocky Horror Show (Entropy Theatre/Firehouse/PPAF), Perfect Arrangement (UMass Lowell), Praxis Stage’s Elliot Norton Award-nominated All My Sons, and Exiled Theatre’s IRNE-nominated Nurse Play, by Boston playwright James Wilkinson. Areas of artistic focus include: post-modernism, queer narratives, reimagining classic texts for contemporary audiences, musical theatre, documentary theatre, and expanding performance boundaries. Joe is currently pursuing an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts: Performance Creation through Goddard College. www.joejuknievich.com
This event will be held at Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, located at 527 Tremont Street.
Please visit the BCA’s website for directions and more information about the location: https://www.bostontheatrescene.com/plan-your-visit/BCA-Theatres/directions/