Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Measure for Measure thoughts

I've been thinking about the Measure for Measure poster. Here's what the director, James Alexander Bond, said about the play in an email:

"I think this play is sexy (not healthy, but sexy). To me a big part of the play is about how far people will go to get what they lust. Also, I plan to explore how much cultural and religious dogma affects the way we do or do not express or give into our urges. Needs that should be natural and beautiful are pushed from the open into dark & dirty corners."

So I was thinking about this as the poster layout.


And when you lean in to get a better view of the keyhole, this is what you see. The ruffles are petticoats.


But then, I don't know. This is titillating and interesting but strangely kind of indirect.

So I tried something different. The layout doesn't really change.


But this is in the keyhole.


I like this better. As an image, it's more arresting. I like how this leaves the object of the peeping a mystery. So it's more intriguing too. And it speaks more directly to the duplicity and hidden motivations in the play. Angelo's internal struggles and his actions toward Isabella clash with his reputation. Mariana comes to Angelo under cover of darkness and in disguise. Plus, isn't it slightly unsettling how the Duke spies on and manipulates his subjects and servants incognito? Like how he falls in love with Isabella behind a veil of false celibacy (as the friar).

Finally, it makes the viewer the object of spying. Which takes the oldest convention of theater and turns it on its head. It also refers to the question of privacy, a growing concern in an era of FBI watch lists, ubiquitous camera surveillance and identity theft.

Friar Lodowick is Watching You!

1 comment:

Mr. Grant Mudge said...

Hey, check your g-mail. Great stuff.