The reviews are in for Ten Thousand Things’ ‘Measure for Measure’

Ten Thousand Things presents Shakespeare’s “Measure for Measure,” a study of what is lost when the law shows no mercy, and instead becomes drunk with power. The company takes its production to jails, prisons, homeless shelters and other places where theater is a luxury, but it also performs for the general public at Open Book in Minneapolis.

Critics find this production of Shakespeare’s play luminescent, passionate, dynamic, accessible and exciting.


Sonja Parks as Isabella and Luverne Seifert as Angelo in Measure for Measure

Photo by Paula Keller

From Dominic P. Papatola at the Pioneer Press:

Director Michelle Hensley renders this “problem play” with clarity and velocity, making its themes of corrupting power, justice delayed and principle versus purpose thrum with energy and contemporary resonance. She exploits the play’s humor without making it a caricature and she captures the inherent drama of the story without resorting to spectacle. This is an acutely human staging, a luminescent articulation of the human condition, highlighting its potential for both nobility and cupidity.


Suzanne Warmanen as the Duke (disguised as a friar) and Nathan Barlow as Claudio

Photo by Paula Keller

From Ed Huyck at City Pages:

…thank heavens for Ten Thousand Things, which once again digs into the heart of the Bard for its production of Measure for Measure. There are no Shakespearean accents, no giant video screens to distract us. There are just eight actors on a nearly bare stage bringing the story to full, passionate life.


Sonja Parks as Isabella and India Gurley as the nun Francesca

Photo by Paula Keller

From Graydon Royce at the Star Tribune:

Ten Thousand Things’ staging of the Bard’s ruminations on free sex, hard choices and archly comic justice illustrates how life gets complex when people act for their own reasons — both good and bad… Hensley again has demonstrated how accessible and enjoyable Shakespeare can be when the text breathes and a production unfolds with simple clarity.


Zach Curtis as Froth and Luverne Seifert as Pompey

Photo by Paula Keller

From Janet Preus at

There’s a purity in TTT’s style of theater. Its purpose is not to draw attention to the method as to help the play speak to the audience watching it. Not everything worked–there were a couple of casting puzzlers–but I so appreciate that Hensley is willing to risk it. Far better to do that than play it safe, just to play it safe. When the actors and director are skilled, passionate and reading off the same philosophical page, walking the line makes for dynamic and exciting theater.

Have you seen Ten Thousand Things’ production of Measure for Measure? What’s your review?