A mysteriously melancholy rich man, a dashing young lover in desperate need of cash, a moneylender with good reason to seek revenge, and a witty young woman with a knack for disguise. These are the elements of Shakespeare’s sparkling and troubling tragicomedy. Set in the magical city of Venice, where all nations meet and the clash of cultures can lead to startling violence, the story of Antonio, Shylock, and Portia has been arousing controversies, social as well as literary, for four centuries with its astonishing mixture of elements: comedy both raucous and gentle, steely-eyed satire, intense compassion, tender love poetry, and the perpetual struggle between Mercy and Justice.
Featuring Academy-Award winner (Salierei/AMADEUS), F. Murray Abraham as Shylock and leading an expert ensemble of fourteen actors. Theatre for a New Audience’s production of The Merchant of Venice will be staged by Darko Tresnjak, director of last season’s widely acclaimed All’s Well That Ends Well. After playing in New York City, Theatre for a New Audience’s production of The Merchant of Venice will tour to the Royal Shakespeare Company where it will play in the RSC’s Complete Works Festival.
In alternating repertory with The Jew of Malta, F. Murray Abraham will embody the role of Barabas, in a production staged by David Herskovits, artistic director of the innovative Target Margin Theater, fresh from his acclaimed production of the two parts of Goethe’s Faust.
In addition to full productions, TFANA will present a special free Reading Series, Literary Supplement, on four selected Monday nights during the repertory run of The Merchant of Venice and The Jew of Malta. Curated by TFANA’s Literary Advisor, Michael Feingold, the series will explore later dramatic versions of the conflict between outsider and society, written in the shadow of The Merchant of Venice or in direct response to it. Full details of the chosen plays, dates, and how to make reservations will be posted in the fall at www.tfana.org.
F. Murray Abraham, Kate Forbes
Author: William Shakespeare
Director: Darko Tresnjak
Set Design: John Lee Beatty
Costume Design: Linda Cho
Lighting Design: David Weiner
Producer: Theatre for a New Audience
Press Agent: Bruce Cohen