Renaissance Center Director to Speak at Hampshire Shakespeare Benefit for Cinema Center
June 18, 2002 - Hadley, MA - As the highlight of the Hampshire Shakespeare Company's benefit
performance on June 27 for the Amherst Cinema Center, noted Shakespearean scholar Dr. Arthur F. Kinney will speak about Measure for Measure,
which is the Company's first show of the season. Considered one of the 'problem' comedies because of the plot twists and dark themes,
nonetheless, Kinney says, the play contains much that is relevant to issues of concern to contemporary audiences.
Measure for Measure can seem startlingly modern with its leaders who resort to surveillance in their need to know
more about what is going on among their own populace. Then and now, there is uncertainty about the rule of law and the effectiveness of
the rules and regulations of the state. Immorality, as defined by both church and state, was and is rampant, with the resultant social
ills of crime, destitution, and medical concerns such as sexually transmitted disease.
Dr. Kinney will discuss these themes as well as that of the issue of the relationship of church to the state and the
implications of this to the policing of morality. What are the limits of the authority of leaders of the state? What must the
impact have been of seeing a secular leader, the Duke, disguised as a friar when this play was first performed in 1604?
The evening's festivities will begin at 6 pm with dancing by the Juggler Meadow Morris Dancers and the Hartsbrook Garland
Dancers as costumed members of the company carry refreshments to the guests. Dr. Kinney will give a brief lecture about the play at 6:30
pm after which the performance will begin. The reception and performance will take place in the Company's regular location at the
Hartsbrook School at 193 Bay Road in Hadley, Massachusetts. Tickets for this special event are $35 and are available by phone, mail or
in person at the Amherst Cinema Center, 30 Amity Street in Amherst, MA 01002 (413-256-1991); or from Amherst Leisure Services, 70 Boltwood
Walk, Amherst MA 01002 (413-256-4065). For more information, check the HSC web site at www.hampshireshakespeare.org.
Dr. Kinney is Thomas W. Copeland Professor of Literary History and Director of the Massachusetts Center for Renaissance
Studies at UMass. He is the author most recently of Lies Like Truth: Shakespeare, Macbeth, and the Cultural Moment (2001), available
for sale at Atticus Books, and Shakespeare by Stages (forthcoming in December). He is the editor of Renaissance Drama: An
Anthology of Plays and Entertainments, A Companion to Renaissance Drama, The Cambridge Companion to English Literature
1500-1600, and New Critical Essays on Hamlet. With D.H. Craig and the Australian Research Council, he is principal
investigator for a three-year international collaborative research project into the authorship of Renaissance plays and into phases of
The Renaissance Center, located at 650 East Pleasant Street in Amherst, is a beautifully furnished building containing a
library and special collections on Renaissance topics. The Center sponsors a wide variety of programs and activities for scholars,
students and the community at large. The building is open for visitors Monday through Friday from 9-12 and 1-5 pm from May through
October. A recent acquisition is an large scale model of the Globe Theater beautifully executed by Dane Donato and on loan until October
from Professor Lillian Ruiz of Greenfield Community College. For more information, call 413-577-3600 or visit the web at