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Shakespeare tale gets revamped in Jane Austen-like time period in Folsom

By: Eileen Wilson, Telegraph Correspondent
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FOLSOM, CA - Power hungry, punitive, hypocritical ? sound like any boss, politician or leader that you?ve known? ?Measure for Measure? rings as true today as when Shakespeare penned it in the early 1600s. And that?s just one of the reasons that Tana Colburn, the show?s director, looks forward to bringing Shakespeare?s adapted tale to Free Fall Stage, opening this Friday. ?The depth of the characters, the situations and the emotion going on in the play are as true today as they were 500 years ago,? Colburn said. ?Power corrupting, the hypocrisy, and also grace and forgiveness.? While the duke steps away from power to see if his suspicions that Angelo, his second in command, is corruptible, Angelo shows his true colors ? colors that are dark and frightening. Think unforgiving, hypocritical despot and you are there. The play is considered a comedy, but a dark one. A show that has plenty of wit and plays on words, but a serious subject that can run to the racy and to the darkest places of human nature. ?The show really plays like a modern drama. Like what you would expect at a movie theater. And, if I was going to give it a rating, I would rate it PG-13,? Colburn said. For those who aren?t familiar with Free Fall Stage, you might know the company better as T.H.E. Actors Workshop and Integral Theatre Company in Folsom. Executive Director Deanne Eldridge recently renamed the theater in homage to her brother, Scott Farinha, who was killed two years ago. Her brother was an avid skydiver, playwright and actor. ?When you?re on live theater, it?s like a free-fall. You can?t get back in the plane,? Eldridge said. Though the company boasts a new name, they maintain the same high-quality standards and talent. ?Measure for Measure? features an adult cast, and Colburn has adapted the play?s language and setting to the Regency Era, a time period beloved thanks to Jane Austen?s many great works. ?So many people love Jane Austen and the time period,? Colburn said. ?As much as I love Shakespeare, he?s not always easily accessible to some people. This adaptation is more accessible to modern audiences, and the characters transform themselves so well to the time period.? While Colburn has retained much of Shakespeare?s rich language, some obscure terms have been updated ? a process that Colburn said is like translating a foreign language, at times. ?I try to translate, not word for word, but to translate the connotative meaning,? Colburn said. Colburn is uniquely suited to interpreting the classics. The Dean of Women?s Studies at Epic Bible College, she also teaches media technology, English, literature, journalism, and fine arts, and her degree is in communications with an emphasis on theater, as well as graduate work in television. ?Measure for Measure? was one of Colburn?s favorites in college, and she knew she wanted to direct the show someday. Eldridge was thrilled to give her the chance. ?Tana directed ?The Lower Room? for us this spring, and she?s always wanted to adapt Shakespeare to the Regency Era,? Eldridge said. ?This adaptation will make Shakespeare really enjoyable for so many people.? * * * KNOW AND GO What: ?Measure for Measure? When: 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 4 p.m. Sundays, July 27-Aug. 26 Where: Free Fall Stage, 800 Reading St., Folsom (in Victory Life Church) Cost: $15 general, $12 seniors and students, $7 children 11 and under Info: Freefallstage.com