Performance - The Merchant of Venice

Thursday, Aug 1, 2019 at 7:45pm


William Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice"

Island Stage Left brings Shakespeare’s most controversial play to San Juan Island: "The Merchant of Venice"

The Jewish moneylender Shylock has been spat upon, cursed, beaten, robbed – and his chief persecutor is suddenly in his power. Shylock demands a savage enforcement of justice. Or is it revenge? How should viciousness be punished? Must Shylock pay back racial hatred with mercy? As the high-stakes plot builds to its famous pound-of-flesh climax, Shakespeare weaves in a romance that brings the wealthy heiress Portia to the aid of Shylock’s enemy.

This is a play for today. The powerful forces driving it could be drawn from the daily news – including the cross-dressing heroine’s brilliant yet merciless legal gambit.

Prominent actors from Seattle and California join ISL in a new production directed by Helen Machin-Smith, who transposes the play to the Venice of the 1930s, with Nazism on the rise and Europe heading toward World War II.

Bring blankets and/or warm clothes for when the sun goes down.

Admission free, donations appreciated.

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