The Merchant of Venice
by William Shakespeare : : starring F. Murray Abraham : : directed by Darko Tresnjak
Fresh from hugely successful runs at the Royal Shakespeare Company in England and in New York comes the Boston premiere of Shakespeare’s tragicomedy, The Merchant of Venice, starring Oscar winner, F. Murray Abraham as Shylock.
“A performance as daring as it is powerful! Mr. Abraham delves into Shylock’s psyche. Skillfully directed by Darko Tresnjak, this production has been planted firmly in modern times.”
— The New York Times
The Merchant of Venice has been arousing controversies for centuries with raucous and gentle comedy, tender poetry, and its struggle with mercy and justice. The wealthy Merchant Antonio dotes on his friend Bassanio, a spendthrift who has depleted his inheritance. When Bassanio meets the brilliant, rich Portia, he asks Antonio to advance him money so he can compete for her hand in marriage. Antonio’s wealth is tied up in ships at sea and, despite his Anti-Semitism, he asks to borrow from Shylock, a Jewish money-lender. Shylock agrees, but insists that if Antonio defaults, he carve a pound of flesh from Antonio’s body. Directed by Darko Tresnjak (former Artistic Director, Old Globe).
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Post-Performance Forums at the Paramount Mainstage
Discussion of “outsiders” in Merchant:
04.02 Society's Outsiders
04.09 Law and Justice
04.02, following the 2pm matinee of The Merchant of Venice, guest moderator Renée Loth (Globe columnist, The Boston Globe) and cast members F. Murray Abraham (Shylock), Melissa Miller (Jessica), Tom Nelis (Antonio), and Christen Simon Marabate (Nerissa) will join the audience for a 30 minute discussion of how societies treat outsiders, who is considered an outsider in Shakespeare’s time versus today, and the consequences of marginalizing certain groups within our society. Free to ticket holders.
Renée Loth is currently a Globe columnist and has served as Editor of the Editorial Page, deputy editor of The Globe's editorial page, and prior to that, political editor, overseeing coverage of the 1993 Boston mayoral race, as well as State House and New England congressional stories. Ms. Loth’s 15 years at The Globe included two years as a staff writer for the Sunday magazine and three years with The Globe's State House bureau. She covered the 1992 presidential campaign, inaugurating the popular "Adwatch" column analyzing TV political ads. Before joining The Globe she was associate editor at New England Monthly magazine and a political reporter for the Boston Phoenix. Ms. Loth is a frequent political commentator on local and national radio and TV programs, and has been an undergraduate study group leader at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.
Discussion of law and justice in Merchant:
04.09, following the 2pm matinee of The Merchant of Venice, guest moderator Daniel Kelly (McCarter & English LLP) with U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Gertner and cast members Christopher Randolph (The Duke of Venice) and Kate MacCluggage (Portia) will join the audience for a 30 minute discussion of the legal themes in the play—what constitutes mercy and justice, the rights of those in power versus the underprivileged, and equality under the law. Free to ticket holders.
Daniel J. Kelly Mr. Kelly is a partner in the Boston office of McCarter & English LLP, where he practices in the areas of civil litigation and government contracts law. Mr. Kelly is the Chairman of the Boston Lawyers Division of the Federalist Society and serves on the Board of Commonwealth Shakespeare Company. For the last ten years Mr. Kelly has produced and appeared in the Shakespeare and the Law Series, a joint collaboration of the Federalist Society and CSC, which presents a staged reading of one of Shakespeare's plays by judges, prominent attorneys and public officials followed by a discussion of the legal and political issues raised in the play. Mr. Kelly received a BA, magna cum laude, with honors from the College of the Holy Cross and a JD with honors from George Washington University. Mr. Kelly is active as a director and actor in local professional and community theatre organizations, recently appearing in Jamaica Plain's Footlight Club productions of Oliver! (as Fagin) and A Midsummer Night's Dream (as Oberon).
Judge Nancy Gertner
United States District Court For the District of Massachusetts
John Joseph Moakley U.S. Courthouse, 1 Courthouse Way, Boston, MA 02210
Judge Nancy Gertner is a graduate of Barnard College (B.A.1967) and Yale Law School (J.D.1971) where she was an editor on The Yale Law Journal. She also received her M.A. in Political Science at Yale University. She has been an instructor at Yale Law School teaching sentencing and comparative sentencing institutions since 1998. She was appointed to the bench in 1994 by President William J. Clinton. In August 2008, she received the Thurgood Marshall Award from the American Bar Association, Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities, only the second woman to receive it (Justice Ginsburg was the first). She has been profiled on a number of occasions in the Boston Globe, the ABA Journal, Boston Magazine, and The Wall Street Journal. In September 2008, Judge Gertner became a Leadership Council Member of the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW). Judge Gertner has written widely on various legal issues including constitutional and criminal law, criminal procedure, sex discrimination law, and the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines. She has been the keynote speaker, panelist or guest lecturer at many conferences concerning civil rights, civil liberties, employment and criminal justice and procedural issues, throughout the United States, Europe and Asia.
THE MERCHANT OF VENICE
MARCH 29 to APRIL 10
Starring F. Murray Abraham
Directed by Darko Tresnjak
Theatre for a New Audience
Written by William Shakespeare
Cutler Majestic Theatre
2 hours and 30 minutes including one intermission
READ THE REVIEWS:
"A terrific production."
—The New York Times
READ THE BLOG:
The Tale Behind The Merchant of Venice?
"Shylock is Me"