was proud to present on
A play by William Shakespeare and Interpeted and Directed by Frederick Mead. The creative team includes: Dane Rhodes (scenic), Vic Woodward (scenic and lighting), Ms. B Veteran Performer, Adella Gautier (costumes), Staci Tolliver, stage manager.
In celebration of our 15th season and a recent Community Arts Award, Anthony Bean Community Theater (the only ongoing African American theater producing company in New Orleans) presents our first-ever Shakespeare play, "Measure for Measure" from
Actors (L) DC PauL, Karel Sloane-Boekbinder, Clara Masako and Martin "Bats" Bradford
March 6 to 22. Under the direction of Frederick Mead, "Measure for Measure" features a racially-diverse cast that includes stage veteran Adella Gautier (as elder statesman, Escalus), up-and-coming TV and stage actor Martin "Bats" Bradford (as the Duke of Vienna), and ingénue Christy Williams (as Isabella). Frederick Mead himself appears in the delightfully comic role of Lucio.
With "Measure for Measure", ABCT introduces Shakespeare to a new generation of African American youth and adults. Our audience has never seen Shakespeare on this stage (and some perhaps never at all.) We have chosen this play because its themes of social justice, abuse of governmental power, and the need for genuine spirituality are timely topics that will speak clearly and resonate with the experiences of many African Americans in our audience.
To help decode the lofty Elizabethan language and to clarify the play's themes, Director Frederick Mead has chosen 2 unique devices. First, the costumes are drawn from the whole of Western culture, such as the Golden Age of Hollywood, opera, and the Bible. These iconic "types" will help our audiences understand-on sight-what each character means in the context of the play. For example, Mistress
Director Frederick Mead with Anthony Bean
Overdone (who owns brothels) is costumed as Mae West. The costumes are clever, instructive, and will be a topic of much conversation afterwards.
The second device is to film Act 5, the final act. The Duke of Vienna (played by Martin "Bats" Bradford") is an old-time movie director (a la Otto Preminger) who moves behind the scenes, filming other actors and pushing the plot forward. Act 5 is the movie the Duke has made. A screen will descend, and the audience will watch the Duke's movie as the conclusion of the play.
Other members of the cast include: DC PauL (as Claudio), Marie Becnel (as Angelo, the Deputy), Tracy Norwood (as Mistress Overdone and Sister Francisca), Nike Di Bauchery (as Pompey, the Clown), Matthew Rigdon (as Froth the Fop and Abhorson the Executioner), Karel Sloane-Boekbinder (as the Provost), James Patrick (as Barnardine, the prisoner), Clara Masako Fernandez (as Juliet and Mariana), Sam Ryan (as Constable Elbow), and Frederick Mead (as Lucio, a fantastic)Starring