November 1, Valencia, CA—The CalArts School of Theater presents William Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, directed by Robert Cucuzza (MFA3). The play revolves around the fate of its hero Claudio, who has been sentenced to death for impregnating his fiancé. Director Robert Cucuzza brings a unique background in contemporary experimental theater to Shakespeare’s 16th century work. Drawing on his experience with the Ontological-Hysteric Theater and Elevator Repair Service, Cucuzza takes an unflinching contemporary look at the political and moral hypocrisy in this play.
Measure for Measure will perform in the Walt Disney Modular Theater at California Institute of the Arts, 24700 McBean Parkway, Valencia, CA, 91355. Measure for Measure previews on Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 8 pm and continues with performances on Friday, November 12 at 8 pm, Saturday, November 13 at 2 pm and 8 pm and Tuesday through Saturday, November 16 - 20 at 8 pm. Admission is $2 for faculty, staff, alumni and students and $10 for general admission. For reservations, please visit www.calarts.edu/calendar .
Director Robert Cucuzza is a theater artist, filmmaker, actor and acting teacher. As a playwright, director and producer, he spent six years as an artist-in-residence at Richard Foreman’s Ontological-Hysteric Theater in New York City, where he mounted many highly-acclaimed original plays and was a co-founder of the Obie award-winning Blueprint Series, a festival for emerging theater artists. Previously at CalArts, he wrote and directed the musical extravaganza Hellzapoppin’.
Cuccuza’s Measure for Measure is set in Vienna, portrayed as a decayed and ruined underground city. Duke Vincentio realizes that he has lost the respect of his people, and being unable to live up to his responsibilities, sets off on an indeterminate trip, transferring power to the iron-fisted Angelo. “But the Duke’s journey is purely internal,” notes director Cucuzza. The Duke remains in Vienna, disguised as a friar. As he reconnects with his subjects and God, he affects the unfolding fate of the play’s characters.
More about Director Robert Cucuzza: As a stage actor he has performed at the legendary Ontological-Hysteric Theater and across Europe in Richard Foreman’s Panic! (How to be happy!), Permanent Brain Damage, and My Head was a Sledgehammer. Since 1997 he has been a company member of Elevator Repair Service, with whom he has performed in nearly thirty major festivals and theaters in the U.S., all over Europe and across the globe. Most recently with ERS, he created and played the role of Tom Buchanan in Gatz—a complete staging of the entire text of "The Great Gatsby"—on thirteen tours and Off-Broadway at the Public Theater.
As a filmmaker, he has written, directed, produced and edited the films The Invincible Ecksteins, The Blue Horizon, Speed Freaks and The Armed Boy. As a film actor, he has played lead roles in Speed Freaks, Memoirs of My Nervous Illness and the award-winning short The Strange Case of Marie France. He was the recipient of a 1990 Thomas J. Watson Fellowship for a one-year independent study of experimental theater in Europe and is currently a recipient of a 2010-11 Beutner Family Award for Excellence in the Arts at CalArts. www.robertcucuzza.com