Of Equal Measure

Of Equal Measure banner by Merian H.

Of Equal Measure logo

Of Equal Measure program cover

Center Theatre Group logo


by Tanya Barfield
Directed by Leigh Silverman
June 29 – July 27, 2008

Kirk Douglas Theater
9820 Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA
(213) 213-628-2772

Tues-Fri @ 8pm
Sat @ 2pm & 8pm
Sun @ 1pm & 630pm

Of Equal Measure banner

Kirk Douglas Theatre lobby during Of Equal Measure run
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In an era of hardening racism, an ambitious African-American woman, Jade Kingston, gets a job in Woodrow Wilson’s White House. But when the president embarks on a ruthless campaign to force public support of an unpopular war, civil liberties, civil rights and the truth are the first casualties, and Jade must decide where her loyalties lie. America’s past echoes into the present in Tanya Barfield’s Of Equal Measure, directed by Leigh Silverman, which makes its world premiere at the Kirk Douglas Theatre.

With the nation on the brink of World War I, one woman’s personal battle begins.

Europe is close to social and political crisis. Woodrow Wilson’s cabinet debates going to war and which side to take.

At home, the administration’s segregationist policies contrast American democratic values–a fact not lost on Jade Kingston, an ambitious African–American stenographer employed in the White House, and her brother, Eugene, an aspiring artist with big dreams.

As World War I rapidly approaches, Jade faces difficult choices that could compromise her career, challenge her spirit and threaten her own ideals of America’s duty to its citizens and its place as a world power.

Of Equal Measure takes its title from a scene in which Tumulty is challenged: Can he be both Irish and American, or Catholic and American? For the interrogator, a “real” American is a Protestant Christian of English descent. From the mid-19th through the early 20th century, America absorbed millions of immigrants from Ireland as well as Eastern and Southern Europe, creating a deep concern among “established” Americans as to how the nation’s democracy and culture could survive if the country were divided by ethnicity, race and religion. Similar questions are asked today both in America and Europe.