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Arriving this weekend: Seattle’s first two Shakespeare events of 2015.

Opening on Friday, Seattle Shakespeare Company’s new mounting of “Measure for Measure” tackles one of the edgy, early 17th-century “problem plays” by the Bard — problem, as in addressing a knotty subject, and doing so in a darkly ambiguous, serio-comic manner.

“Measure for Measure” imagines a decadent, corrupt Vienna, where a moralistic ruler tries to blackmail a virginal young woman into a sexual liaison. It’s often updated to reflect current mores, and we can expect that treatment from gifted director Desdemona Chiang and company.

How does an actor approach the Bard’s hallowed and humbling works? “In Acting Shakespeare,” which also opens this Friday, veteran performer and playwright James DeVita chronicles his career path from college dropout to fisherman to classical theater actor in a one-man, two-act effort. Threaded with excerpts from the Bard’s canon, it is staged at ACT Theatre by ACT associate artistic head, John Langs.

“Measure for Measure” runs through Sunday, Feb. 1, at Center Theatre, Seattle Center; $29-$48 (206-684-7200 or

“In Acting Shakespeare” runs through Sunday, Jan. 11, at ACT Theatre, 700 Union St., Seattle; $20-$30 (206-292-7676

Misha Berson: