Our Next Production
Antonio, the titular merchant, will do anything for his friend Bassiano. So when Bassiano declares he wants to travel to distant Belmont to win the hand of the fair Portia, Antonio goes to the notorious moneylender Shylock to borrow 3000 ducats for his friend’s trip. Antonio agrees to Shylock’s outrageous repayment plan because of his deep affection for Bassiano. That plan? If the money isn’t repaid in 3 months time, Shylock will get a pound of flesh in repayment. Unknown to Antonio, the pound Shylock wants is Antonio’s heart.
This Shakespearean classic has all the trappings of one of his comedies: maidens in disguise, madcap clowns who speak truth to the elites, a “happy” ending for all of the romantic couples. But in reality it is a powerful examination and condemnation of the persecution of “the other” by the accepted ruling class. The people in power in Venice relish their rule over all others regardless of religion, gender or sexual orientation.
The play has many of Shakespeare’s best known characters and lines. Shylock has intrigued actors, audiences and scholars for over 400 years ago. Portia is considered perhaps Shakespeare’s greatest heroine; certainly her scene in disguise as Antonio’s lawyer is a tour de force. But audiences should be ready, for as Shakespeare warns within Merchant, “All that glisters is not gold.” This production promises to challenge your every expectation.
Performances are December 3-5, and tickets will go on sale in November.