Shakespeare Project of Chicago: The Merchant of Venice

Michelle Shupe
Michelle Shupe
Center for Renaissance Studies Programs
Other Renaissance Programs
Saturday, October 19, 2013

10 am - 12:30 pm

Ruggles Hall

Directed by Michelle Shupe

“If to do were as easy as to know what were good to do, chapels had been churches, and poor men’s cottages princes’ palaces. It is a good divine that follows his own instructions: I can easier teach twenty what were good to be done, than be one of the twenty to follow mine own teaching.”

Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice explores many themes: justice, mercy, revenge, self-interest, love, intolerance and hypocrisy. Shakespeare gives us two very different societies: Venice is a cosmopolitan center of trade, rife with capitalism and religious intolerance. It represents wealth and greed and is controlled almost entirely by men. Belmont represents an almost fairytale-like land of wealth, beauty and peace and in Belmont, the women seem to hold sway. But what makes this play so interesting is the incongruity between what these places seem to be and what they really are: just as the characters espouse one virtue but enact another. What happens when these two worlds collide? Is it indeed, easier to know what “were good to be done” than to do it? Michelle Shupe will make her Shakespeare Project directing debut.

A staged reading by professional actors from The Shakespeare Project of Chicago. An informative talk begins fifteen minutes before the performance, which is followed by a question-and-answer session with the director and cast. The Shakespeare Project was founded in 1993 and has performed at the Newberry Library since 2003.

Cosponsored by the Newberry Public Programs department.

Learn more about Center for Renaissance Studies programs.

Cost and registration information: 

This program is free and open to the public; no tickets or advanced registration is required.