The Measure of Oakland
On April 1st, our students performed their original and evocative performance of M4M Remix to a packed house! Our donors enjoyed a glass of wine and appetizers before the show and then exciting conversations with the actors following the performance. Also, our student poets performed their original poetry before the play began!
Set in Oakland and inspired by Shakespeare’s Measure For Measure, The Measure of Oakland (M4M Remix) explored the topics of consent, power, and justice in modern society.
In January and February, directors Stephen Muterspaugh and Maryssa Wanlass of San Francisco Shakespeare Festival began private interviews with about 20 students from Civicorps. In the interviews, students were asked about their experiences living in Oakland, and they shared intimate stories and reflections on their lives. These stories were then used by playwright Davern Wright to shape an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Measure For Measure – the play that Civicorps performed in the fall. He worked hard to write the script in a way that reflected the themes and experiences of life in modern day Oakland, through our students’ eyes. What truly made this original theatrical performance both heart-breaking and inspiring, is that many portions of the script were born out of the true experiences of our students.
Life-Changing Experience for our Students
“It was a lot of work, but it was cool. I felt famous.” – Tai
“This is my third Shakespeare play. I love it because it’s pushed me to prepare for my future.” – Telicia
“Shakespeare taught me how to act, and I can take that anywhere with me in life.” – Kyndall
“Shakespeare helps me open up to be a better person.” – Miki
As the newly appointed mayor of Oakland, Sampson vows to “clean up” the city. He devises a plan to incarcerate all of the poor citizens of the city, in order to build high-rise luxury apartments for the rich. His transformation of the city is unprecedented and appears unstoppable. Will the community be able to come together to cease this injustice, or will the city of Oakland become another haven for the wealthy? This original theatrical performance will find an answer to this dilemma, while highlighting the power and importance of reclaiming personal voice and allowing our stories to be heard.