What can a play from sixteenth century England tell us about how antisemitism and other prejudicial beliefs operate in our world today? What perceived truths does a play reveal about the society in which it was created, and what ideas within that society does it reinforce?
William Shakespeare likely wrote The Merchant of Venice between 1596 and 1598, only a few years after the plague had temporarily closed London's theaters. This was a period of great uncertainty in English society, with ongoing conflicts taking their toll, concerns about the government's stability under an aging leader, and significant economic stresses. The anxieties associated with these societal pressures can perhaps be seen in Merchant" in its portrayal of Shylock, the Jewish moneylender.
Bringing together elements of Merchant with Elizabethan history and news from the 21st century, The Merchant of Venice (Annotated), or In Sooth I Know Not Why I Am So Sad takes a kaleidoscopic view of the ways in which members of a society displace their fears on the "other" during times of upheaval.
About theatre dybbuk
theatre dybbuk creates provocative new works that blend physical theatre with poetry and music for exciting, utterly singular live events. The company explores the rich world of Jewish history, building lyrical performances that illuminate universal human experience for contemporary audiences. With an in-depth development process that can range from a few months to three years, Artistic Director Aaron Henne builds each piece with a cast of dedicated professional actors, designers, musicians and scholars. The resulting works, from the dark and visceral dance theatre of cave… a dance for Lilith to the shadowy and immersive hell prepared: a ritual exorcism inspired by kabbalistic principles, performed within a dominant cultural context, are challenging and beautiful to behold.
*There will be light refreshments and drinks available for purchase at the venue.
"The beauty of Henne's play and his production is that it's not really a play, it's an oratorio, spoken (and sung)... and gorgeously rendered by the ensemble and the design team." ~Steven Leigh Morris, Stage Raw
"A poignant statement on how humans treat each other and how throughout history, money is power" ~Jeff Slayton, LA Dance Chronicle
Written and directed by Aaron Henne
Developed with Leslie K. Gray, Erith Jaffe-Berg, Joe Jordan, Julie A. Lockhart, Gabrielle Ostrove, Flori Schutzer, Fahad Siadat, Dylan Southard, Diana Tanaka, Inger Tudor, Jon Weinberg and Jonathan C.K. Williams
Julie A. Lockhart
Stage Manager: Roella Dellosa
Composer / Music Director: Fahad Siadat
Keyboardist: Andrew Anderson
Lighting Designer: Brandon Baruch
Sound Designer: Daniel Tator / Launch
Production Designer: Leslie K. Gray
Costume Designer: Kathryn Poppen
Dramaturg: Dylan Southard
Contributing Scholar: Erith Jaffe-Berg, PhD
Consulting Scholar: Daniel Pollack-Pelzner, PhD
Historical Consultant: Jennifer Wells, JD/PhD
Run time is approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes, including one 15-minute intermission.
Saturday, September 9
Albert and Janet Schultz Cultural Arts Hall (Bldg. F)
Free parking is available through the entrance on Fabian Way
Contact: Michelle Shabtai | [email protected]