Dramatic Duel

Two literary-themed each bring a theatrical twist and aren’t afraid to drop some knowledge on the audience


Commonwealth Shakespeare Company’s Measure for Measure

The date: Sept. 26

The stage: Lyric Stage

The action: An abridged reading of Shakespeare’s legal-leaning play is sandwiched between two discussions. The first focuses on the art and practice of judging, and the second explores how the legal issues in the play can be applied to today’s issues.

The players: Two Supreme Court short-list judges will host the discussion, while U.S. District Court Chief Patti Saris and several other federal judges perform the reading as part of an all-judges cast.

The purpose: Presented as part of the Federalist Society’s annual Shakespeare and the Law series, the play focuses on the strict enforcement of long-dormant laws about sex and the fallout from a harsh sentence. The discussion will then veer toward how judges interpret and enforce laws.

The tickets: Free; reservations are required

The Trustees’ presentation of Nature

The date: Sept. 22-Oct. 1

The stage: The Old Manse in Concord

The action: An outdoor, walking play, Nature explores the relationship between Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. Emerson lived in the Old Manse and Thoreau often visited, eventually planting a kitchen garden that remains in the same location.

The players: Tyson Forbes, who lived in Concord as a child and is a descendant of Emerson, created the play with his wife, Markell Keifer. An all-volunteer community chorus will perform at the 11 shows.

The purpose: During this East Coast premiere, the audience will be taken through the natural environment of the Old Manse for the 90-minute performance, following the actors across the property where Emerson wrote the first draft of his Nature essay.

The tickets: $10-$25; bring lawn chairs and blankets


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