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The Merchant of Venice on Shakespeare Hour Live

To accompany our production of The Merchant of Venice, a co-production with Theatre for a New Audience, we presenting three episodes of Shakespeare Hour Live that explored several aspects of Shakespeare’s problem play from the inside out.

March 2: The Merchant of Venice: A Director’s View Inside the Production

First up we look at some of the historical context in Shakespeare’s London while he was writing the play, and how the uniquely diverse cast of this production speaks to a modern audience about prejudices and the elusive nature of mercy.

Guests: Jeffrey Horowitz (Founding Artistic Director, Theatre for a New Audience), Jonathan Kalb (Resident Dramaturg, Theatre for a New Audience), and Dr. Carole Levin (Willa Cather Professor of History and Director of the Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln)

March 9: The Merchant of Venice: The Jewish Question

In this episode, the panelists will discusses different interpretations of Shylock, including how Shylock has functioned historically as an anti-racist, pro-Jewish figure and avatar for tolerance and human rights.

Guests: Danaya Esperanza (Jessica in The Merchant of Venice), Adam Immerwahr (Artistic Director, Theater J), and Kendell Pinkney (Founder, The Workshop; Student, The Rabbinical School at The Jewish Theological Seminary)

March 16: The Merchant of Venice: Gender and Sexuality

This week’s panelists deconstruct the different ideologies of gender and sexuality in the play.

Guests: Isabel Arraiza (Portia in The Merchant of Venice), Shirine Babb (Nerissa in The Merchant of Venice), and Dr. Carla Della Gatta (Assistant Professor, Florida State University; Latinx Theatre Commons Steering Committee member)

June 17, 2020: The Outsider & The Insider | Play: The Merchant of Venice

How does Shakespeare dramatize the figure of the social outsider in this play…and how does he dramatize the characters who are part of the “in-group”?

Guests: F. Murray Abraham (Theatre for a New Audience/National Tour The Merchant of Venice, Academy Award-winning actor, Will Award honoree); Jeffrey Horowitz (Founding Artistic Director of Theatre for a New Audience); and Kate MacCluggage (Theatre for a New Audience/National Tour The Merchant of Venice, Cinemax’s The Knick)

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