New adaptation of ‘Merchant of Venice’ to be read at Public Theater
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TheaterStaged reading scheduled for Aug.12

New adaptation of ‘Merchant of Venice’ to be read at Public Theater

The adaptation of the play grapples with its antisemitism and 'refreshes the questions the play poses about bias and justice in 1594 Venice.'

Gilbert's "Shylock After the Trial," an illustration to "The Merchant of Venice"
(Sir John Gilbert [painter], Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)
Gilbert's "Shylock After the Trial," an illustration to "The Merchant of Venice" (Sir John Gilbert [painter], Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

The Pittsburgh Public Theater will present a staged reading of a new adaptation of Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice” on Friday, Aug. 12 at 5 p.m. on The O’Reilly Stage.

The adaptation of the play grapples with its antisemitism and “refreshes the questions the play poses about bias and justice in 1594 Venice,” according to an announcement from the Public. “The Public gathers an extraordinary cast and creative team to tell a compelling version of the story that highlights the deep and impactful love between Shylock and his late wife, provides the Duke with a poignant arc as party and witness to the play’s injustices, and climaxes with a revelatory courtroom scene.”

The reading will be followed by a roundtable discussion “with visionaries, scholars, and cultural leaders from around the country about the impact and relevance of ‘The Merchant of Venice’ and the effectiveness of this adaptation in translating the problems and virtues of the play for a contemporary audience,” according to the announcement.

The staged reading is free and open to the public, but registration is requested at pct.formstack.com/forms/merchant_of_venice_rsvp_2022. Masks are required for this event. PJC

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