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The Oregon Shakespeare Festival presents the world premiere production of Bill Cain's Equivocation. This smart, complex, engaging play involves Shakespeare (spelled Shagspeare or Shag in the play) and his company of players in 1606 during the reign of King James I. Robert Cecil, minister to King James I, commissions Shakespeare to write a play about the Gunpowder Plot of 1605--telling him to add some dialogue complimentary to the king and witches. The king wants witches. The King's Men, Shag's theatre company, play about 20 roles: conspirators, executioners, priests, jailers, court officials and characters in two unnamed plays that we now know as King Lear and Macbeth. Their verbal acuity adds a dark humor to leaven the potentially perilous task before them. The play explores Shakespeare's struggle to write a play that will please--or at least not offend--the king, and what it means to tell the truth, to equivocate--and to lie--in politics, art and life.

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