The Merchant of Venice
A.R.T. Season
December 11, 1998 through January 24, 1999

Set in the teeming, multi-ethnic marketplace of 16th-century Venice, Shakespeare's sprawling comic masterpiece confronts the best and worst of human qualities—tolerance and bigotry, charity and greed—in a story filled with dramatic intrigue, high farce, and sublime poetry. After last season's wild and wonderful The Taming of the Shrew, Andrei Serban returns to give this provocative, charming, and controversial play his own inventive, contemporary touch.

SYNOPSIS

Bassanio, a Venetian nobleman who has squandered his inheritance, plans to marry Portia, a wealthy heiress. His friend Antonio agrees to provide the necessary capital to fund Bassanio's voyage to Belmont, where Portia lives.

As a Venetian merchant, Antonio's wealth lies in a fleet of ships that are sailing in foreign waters. He therefore seeks a loan from Shylock, a Jewish moneylender, who agrees to lend him the money only if Antonio stakes a pound of his own flesh as guarantee.

Bassanio arrives in Belmont, where he discovers that if he is to win Portia's hand, he must first solve the riddle of the three caskets left to her by her father. He does so successfully, but no sooner has he married Portia than news arrives that Antonio's ships have all been lost, and his life is in Shylock's hands.

Bassanio sets out for Venice, leaving Portia to hatch a plan that will save Antonio's life and test Bassanio's love for her.

 

Creative team
by

William Shakespeare

Directed by Andrei Serban
Set design by Christine Jones
Costume design by Catherine Zuber
Lighting design by Michael Chybowski
Sound design by Christopher Walker
Music composed by Elizabeth Swados
Music direction by J. Michael Friedman
Screen designs by

Marielle Bancou and William Bonnell

Antonio, a merchant of Venice Jonathan Epstein
Salerio, friend to Antonio and Bassanio Jeremy Geidt
Solanio, friend to Antonio and Bassanio Stephen Rowe
Lorenzo, in love with Jessica Martin Berryman
Gratiano, friend to Antonio and Bassanio Ken Cheeseman
Portia, an heiress of Belmont Kristin Flanders
Nerissa, Portia's waiting woman Nurit Monicelli
Shylock, a Jewish moneylender Will LeBow
Prince of Morocco, suitor to Portia Leopold Lowe
Launcelot Gobbo, a clown, servant to Shylock Thomas Derrah
Old Gobbo, father to Launcelot Alvin Epstein
Jessica, daughter to Shylock Aysan Celik
Tubal, a Jew Alvin Epstein
Prince of Aragon, suitor to Portia Remo Airaldi
Duke of Venice Thomas Derrah
Servant Emmitt George
Stephano, servant to Portia Brett Halsey
Balthasar, servant to Portia Micahel Cecchi
Roderigo, servant to Portia Emmitt George
Leonardo, servant to Bassanio Jeremy Proctor
Ensemble Juan Luis Acevado, Matthew Brennan, Brett Egan, Celeste Finn, Eddie Mejia, Kate Super
   

 

Gideon Lester interviews Romanian director Andrei Serban More

A fixation on Shylock has encompassed much of the play's history More

Article about The Merchant of Venice. More

July

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Run time

3 hours and 15 minutes with 1 intermission

Venue

64 Brattle St.
Cambridge, MA 02138

High-res image:
High-res image:
Venue Map

Access

Accessibilty
Assistive Listening Devices
Large Print Programs