King’s Crown Shakespeare Troupe’s (KCST) famous Spring Show has been a tradition for the past fifteen years. The Spring Show is always written by Shakespeare, even though KCST’s other shows are not exclusively Shakespeare. This year, the show is Measure For Measure, which is one of the Bard’s less well known and lesser-performed works. It is one of Shakespeare’s comedies, but does not follow the strict formulaic guidelines associated with most of his works bearing that label. Measure begins with The Duke (Leor Hackel, GS’11) leaving his city in the hands of Angelo (Zack Sheppard, CC’11), a hard-nosed puritan. The Duke disguises himself as a Friar and stays in the town to secretly observe Angelo and the town’s inhabitants. Angelo decides to sentence the well-liked Claudio (Brain LaPerche, CC’12) to death for impregnating his fiancée before their marriage. His sister, Isabella (Maura McNamara. CC’11), a soon-to-be nun pleads with Angelo to save her brother’s life. Angelo says he will save Claudio, if Isabella sleeps with Angelo. The Duke, in his Friar disguise comes up with a plan to help Isabella save Claudio and deceive Angelo.
A governing tenant of KCST is that everyone who auditions for the Spring Show is cast. That’s right, everyone. This generally results in a large ensemble. This year, the ensemble is tasked with turning Columbia’s campus into the town of Vienna. The ensemble includes nuns, soldiers, pickpockets, and prostitutes. KCST President and Director Allie LaLonde (CC’10) said that the fact that everyone gets cast is her favorite part of the Spring Show. She first became invol
ved with KCST when she was an ensemble member of the Spring Show her freshman year. She enjoys “the opportunity to work with people who are not usually involved with theater” she said.
The Spring Show is always an outdoor show that travels around campus. It utilizes the beautiful grounds and architecture that Columbia’s campus; turning Low Plaza into a town square or the Sundial into a brothel. Rehearsals move outside as the New York winter beings to melt into Spring, which is approximately a month before the show. Moving rehearsals outside increases the energy as the actors “interact with a living thing, this campus” says LaLonde. Assistant Director Madalena Provo (BC’12) said the move outside gives the actors an audience through the final leg of the rehearsal process and forces them to “pump it, loud-ah” when there are other events happening on campus. Outdoor rehearsals offer a plethora of free advertising opportunities as people walk by and watch, or walk through scenes without even noticing until they are practically in the scene.
Another great tradition of KCST and the Spring Show is that it is FREE! So arrive at the main gates at 116th Street and Broadway for the beginning of the show. The show is Thursday, April 29 and Saturday, May 1 at 8pm. The infamous midnight show is Friday, April 30 at 11:59pm. More information is available on facebook.
Full Disclosure: The author, Alison Goldberg (BC’12), is a “shill” or audience guide, for Measure for Measure. She hopes to see you there!