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William Shakespeare's plays are still as relevant today as they were when he wrote them more than 400 years ago. "Measure for Measure," which will be performed by the American Shakespeare Center on Tour at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 18., is no exception. The play revolves around a variety of themes including religion, authority, purity and prejudice.

"Measure for Measure" tells the story of Claudio, a young nobleman who is unofficially married to Juliet. When this fact becomes public knowledge Claudio is imprisoned and sentenced to die. In an effort to save his life he pleads to his sister, Isabella, to intercede with the judge who has sentenced him to death. Afraid to lose her brother, she visits the judge, only to be caught in a dilemma of her own. The judge will spare her brother's life, if she will sleep with him. Torn, Isabella refuses, putting her brother's head on the chopping block. Will Claudio be saved? How can Isabella live with herself knowing she has sentenced her brother to certain death? Come find out for yourself.

The American Shakespeare Center on Tour is the touring arm of the American Shakespeare Center and the Blackfriars Playhouse. The center, which is located in Staunton, hosts an internationally acclaimed theatre company that performs Shakespeare's works under their original staging conditions on a simple stage, without elaborate sets, and with the audience sharing the same light as the actors.

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