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The Merchant of Venice

The Merchant of Venice

"thrilling...extraordinary...Shakespeare's text cracks through the air like lightning" - Terry Teachout, Wall Street Journal

"...beautifully conceived and executed...wallopingly powerful...top-notch production...Epstein is mightily good as Shylock" - Albany Times Union

"Epstein is one of the great actors in New England." - Ed Siegel, WBUR

A perilous romance. A tragic history. An infamous wager. Shakespeare’s most controversial yet poignant play offers a visceral display of courtship, prejudice, money and revenge, ending ultimately in a choice between life and death. Founding Artistic Director Tina Packer reunites with longtime Company member Jonathan Epstein as Shylock, the Bard’s most memorable and highly charged outsider.

Cast: Kate Abbruzzese, Peter Andersen, Jason Asprey, Erick Avari, Thomas Brazzle, Jonathan Epstein, Michael Fuchs, Deaon Griffin-Pressley, John Hadden, Tamara Hickey, Cloteal Horne, Shahar Isaac, Bella Merlin, Dylan Wittrock

Generously sponsored by Dr. Gerald and Roberta Friedman

Photos & Videos

Kate Abbruzzese and Jonathan Epstein. 'The Merchant of Venice' Invited Dress Rehearsal, Shakespeare & Company 2016. Photo by John Dolan.

Jonathan Epstein and John Hadden. 'The Merchant of Venice' Invited Dress Rehearsal, Shakespeare & Company 2016. Photo by John Dolan.

Artists

Kate Abbruzzese

Kate Abbruzzese

(Jessica)

fourth season with S&Co: Portia, Casca Julius Caesar; title role Hamlet; Susie Parasite Drag. Off Broadway: Ann Weis Scotty; Carl Linnaeus My Favorite Character Was the Talking Vase. Regional: Lizzy Bennet Pride and Prejudice (Baltimore Center Stage); Miranda, the Tempest , Allie Dairyland (Chautauqua Theatre Company); Perdita, The

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Peter Andersen

Peter Andersen

(Solanio)

Second season with S&Co. Previous roles: Ensemble, Shakespeare and the Language that Shaped a World; Laertes, Hamlet; Avery, The Flick (Company One), Peter, Henry VI Pt 2 (Actor’s Shakespeare Project); Aaron, Titus Androncisu (The Humanist Project); Cassius, Julius Caesar (Emerson College); and Brutus, Julius Caesar (S&Co Conservatory). Peter obtained

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Martin Jason Asprey

Martin Jason Asprey

(Graziano)

twenty-fourth season (Calaban, The Tempest; Cloten, Cymbeline). Recent S&Co: Graziano, The Merchant of Venice; Speed, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Priest, Mother of the Maid; Cassius, Julius Caesar; Ferdinand, Love’s Labour’s Lost; Derek, Accomplice; Richard Hannay, The 39 Steps; Parasite Drag; Frank, The Memory of Water; Autolycus, The Winter’s

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Erick Avari

Erick Avari

(Duke/Morocco/Aragon)

First season with S&Co. Erick owes his training and success in the industry to Shakespeare & Company and is delighted to be returning after 35 years. Broadway: The King & I, Rasputin. Off Broadway: A Map of the World, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and 'Tis Pity She’s a Whore

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Thomas Brazzle

Thomas Brazzle

(Gobbo)

fifth season. S&Co: Posthumous, Cymbeline; Sebastian, The Tempest, Proteus, Two Gentlemen of Verona; Gobbo, The Merchant of Venice; Richard II; Walter, Kaufman’s Barbershop. Regional: Treasure Island (Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park); Edmund, King Lear (Guthrie Theater); Grand Concourse; The Droll (WAM Theatre Fresh Takes Series); Franco Wicks, Superior

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Jonathan Epstein

Jonathan Epstein

(Shylock)

thirty-first season. S&Co: Jonny has directed or acted in more than 60 Shakespeare & Company productions since 1987 including Henry V, Merchant of Venice, Tempest, Cymbeline, Midsummer, Merry Wives, Private Eyes, Brief Lives, Heroes, An Iliad and the title roles in King Lear, Henry IV, Richard III and

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Michael Fuchs

Michael Fuchs

(Old Gobbo/Tubal)

First season with S&Co. New York: David, Company; Ensemble, Pantagleize; Regional: Antipholus of Syracuse, Comedy of Errors; Bridegroom Blood Wedding; Rev. John Witherspoon, 1776; Aslan The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe; Arnold Needham, No Sex Please, We’re British. Michael holds degrees from MIT, the University of Pennsylvania,

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Deaon  Griffin-Pressley

Deaon Griffin-Pressley

(Lorenzo)

third season. A New York City based actor/playwright/singer originally from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Off-Broadway and regional theatre include Actors’ Shakespeare Project: Richmond/Hastings +8; Richard III. Shakespeare & Company: Ferdinand, The Tempest; Pisanio +6, Cymbeline; Osric, Hamlet; Lorenzo, The Merchant of Venice. The Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre: Orsino, Twelfth Night;

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John Hadden

John Hadden

(Antonio)

Founding Member. John Hadden is a founding member of Shakespeare & Company, was co-founder/artistic director of Counterpoint Theater (Boston), artistic director of the Hubbard Hall Theater Co., and associate artist with We Players (San Francisco). He is a two-time “Berkie” winner who has worked as an actor/director/teacher for

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Tamara Hickey

Tamara Hickey

(Portia)

third season. S&Co: Cymbeline, The Tempest, Merchant of Venice, Two Gentlemen of Verona; Regional: Appropriate, SpeakEasy Stage; God’s Ear (Elliot Norton Award, Best Actress & Best Production); Henry VIII, Pericles, Living In Exile, all for Actors’ Shakespeare Project; Rancho Mirage, New Repertory Theatre; Cabaret, American Repertory Theatre (IRNE

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Cloteal Horne

Cloteal Horne

(Salarino)

is pleased to be returning to S&Co for a third season: Comedy of Errors, A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Off-Broadway: The Steadfast (Slant Theatre Project); Dirty Blood (Billie Holiday Theatre). Regional: Saturday Night/Sunday Morning (Lyric Stage Company); She A Gem (New York Theatre Workshop); To Kill a Mockingbird (Weston Playhouse);

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Shahar Isaac

Shahar Isaac

(Bassanio)

First season with S&Co. Regional: Bar Giora, Yael Farber's Salome (Shakespeare Theatre Company); Our Town (George Street Playhouse). International: Valentine, Two Gentlemen of Verona (Shakespeare’s Globe, London). New York: Dancing Turtle (Winner of the Samuel French OOB Festival); The Djinns of Eidgah, Workshop (The Play Company). AlphaNYC: Oy!, Glee

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Bella Merlin

Bella Merlin

(Nerissa)

second season (The Queen and Arviragus, Cymbeline; Trinculo, The Tempest). S&Co: Nerissa (The Merchant of Venice); Outlaw (The Two Gentlemen of Verona). Regional: Margaret, Richard III; Nell, Nell Gwynne: A Dramatick Essaye on Acting and Prostitution. UK: Susanna Cibber, A Laughing Matter, 2nd Bereaved Mother, The Permanent Way (National

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Dylan Wittrock

Dylan Wittrock

(Salerio)

First season with S&Co. Dylan grew up performing Shakespeare with his father and brother, and has acted in more plays than he can remember. He has performed at the Hollywood Bowl, performed improv at the Chicago Theater, and busked streets of the Royal Mile at the Fringe Festival in

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Tina Packer

Tina Packer

(Director)

Founding Member (Founding Artistic Director; Director, Heisenberg) She has directed all of Shakespeare’s plays (some of them several times), acted in eight of them (never when directing) and taught the whole canon at over thirty colleges, including Harvard, M.I.T. and NYU. At Columbia University, she taught in the

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"thrilling...extraordinary...every repetition of such ugly phrases as 'villain Jew' and 'dog Jew' cracks through the air like lightning...Ms. Packer has taken to theater in the round as if she'd been directing it all her life."

– Terry Teachout, Wall Street Journal

Crown

Shakespeare & Company is a professional live theatre company in the heart of the Berkshires, presenting a vibrant summer performance season featuring the works of Shakespeare in repertory with classic and contemporary plays. The Company offers one of the most extensive actor training programs by a regional theatre in the country, and is also home to an award-winning and nationally recognized theatre-in-education program.

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