Saturday, August 20, 2016

*The Merchant of Venice* Opens September 2!




Flatwater Shakespeare returns to the Swan Theatre at Wyuka Stables to present The Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare’s provocative exploration of love, hate, prejudice, and revenge, directed by Tom Crew. The show opens on Friday, September 2 and runs through Friday, September 16.

Antonio, the merchant of the title, borrows money from Shylock to help his friend Bassanio in courting Portia, an heiress. The terms of the loan include the forfeit of “a pound of flesh,” which Shylock can collect if the funds are not repaid at the agreed time. Shylock has already suffered persecution for being Jewish, and later his daughter, Jessica, elopes with Lorenzo, one of Bassanio's friends, taking much of her father's wealth with her. When Antonio cannot pay, Shylock seeks revenge through the bond. Having already won Portia's heart, Bassanio passes the test devised by her late father to determine the worthiest husband. After learning of the danger facing Antonio, Portia tries to save Bassanio's friend.

Flatwater Shakespeare veteran Richard Nielsen (Polonius in last year's Hamlet) plays Antonio, with Christian Muñoz joining the company as Bassanio. Portia is played by Megan Higgins (last seen as Rosalind in As You Like It), with Rachel Stoops Brown making her Flatwater Shakespeare debut as Nerissa, Portia's lady-in-waiting. Patrick Lambrecht (Claudius in Hamlet) is Shylock, with Kresse Alvey as Jessica and Matt Cummins (Sylvius in As You Like It) as Lorenzo.

The ensemble also features past Flatwater Shakespeare performers Beth Govaerts, Dillon Kirby, Walter McDowell, Larry Mota, Christian Novotny, and Rich Sibley. Other newcomers include Marie-Ruth Henke, Jeffrey Luksik, and Jason Query.

Tom Crew, who staged Edward Albee's Seascape at the Swan Theatre last summer for the Crooked Codpiece Company (and was a memorable Gravedigger in Flatwater Shakespeare's Hamlet), is the show's director. His production team includes costume designer Kat Cover, technical director Richard Imig, stage manager Stephanie Kahler, assistant stage manager Summer Smeester, and dramaturg Stephen Buhler. Bob Hall is Artistic Director for the Flatwater Shakespeare Company.

Performance dates for The Merchant of Venice are September 2-5, 8-11, and 14-16. Show time is 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $20 general, $16 seniors, and $12 students. Group rates are also available. The Swan Theatre at Wyuka Stables is located at 3600 “O” Street in Lincoln.

Discussions of the play will follow select performances. Concessions will be available each evening. For information and for ticket sales or reservations, visit flatwatershakespearecompany.org or call 402-601-8529.

 

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