Globe On Screen: THE MERCHANT OF VENICE Starring Jonathan Pryce

Globe On Screen returns to Southern California cinemas this fall with three productions recorded live at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London: The Merchant of Venice, Measure for Measure, and Richard II. Tickets are now on sale for The Merchant of Venice, starring Jonathan Pryce as Shylock, in his first appearance at the Globe. Joining her father on stage is Pryce’s daughter, Phoebe Pryce, who plays Shylock’s daughter, Jessica. Jonathan Munby directs.

The cast also includes Stefan Adegbola, Michael Bertenshaw, Philip Cox, Scott Karim, Ben Lamb, Daniel Lapaine, Christopher Logan, Dominic Mafham, Brian Martin, Dorothea Myer-Bennett, Regé-Jean Page, Rachel Pickup, and David Sturzaker. Original music is by Jules Maxwell, choreography is by Lucy Hind and the Designer is Mike Britton.

Additional screenings will be added in the coming months so check back periodically for updates.

The Merchant of Venice  ~ Measure for Measure  ~ Richard II
Recorded at Shakespeare’s Globe 2015

Tickets and more info: Globe On Screen
Running time: Approximately 2hrs 45mins including one intermission

Merchant - Globe on Screen

Christopher Logan (Prince of Aragon) and Rachel Pickup (Portia) All photos by Manuel Harlan

Merchant - Globe on Screen

Jonathan Pryce as Shylock

Merchant - Globe on Screen

Rachel Pickup & Dorothea Myer-Bennett (Nerissa)




Merchant - Globe on Screen

Jonathan Pryce and Dominic Mafham (Antonio)


Long Beach Shakespeare Company Presents The Merchant of Venice

Long Beach Shakespeare

Long Beach Shakespeare Company will present The Merchant of Venice May 27 – June 18 at the Richard Goad Theatre in Long Beach. Full of controversy, racial and religious tension, and featuring two formidable opponents, it is especially resonant in this election year. Neither Shylock nor Antonio are very likable and both have moments of virtue and depravity. The plays is also rich with famous quotes such as “all that glisters is not gold,” and “so shines a good deed in a naughty world.”

As is typical of LBSC’s productions, you’ll also find beautiful costumes, original music, and dancing. Seating is limited and reservations are recommended.

May 27 – June 18, 2016
Long Beach Shakespeare Company
The Richard Goad Theatre
4250 Atlantic,Long Beach, CA, 90807
Tickets: (562) 997-1494 or
Show schedule: Fridays and Saturday at 8pm, Sundays at 2pm. (No performance Friday, June 3) Tickets are $22.50 general, $12.50 students.

Parson’s Nose Theater Opens 2014-15 Season with The Merchant of Venice

Parsons Nose school for scandal

Marisa Chandler and Barry Gordon in The School for Scandal

Parson’s Nose Theater begins their 15th Season with a Readers’ Theater Series performance of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, adapted by Lance Davis and featuring Barry Gordon as Shylock, at Lineage Performing Arts Center in Pasadena.

“In The Merchant of Venice, written in 1597, the young Shakespeare again performs his magic, taking elements from Italian tales and contemporary works (Marlowe’s The Jew of Malta) and giving his own spin,” explains PNT Artistic Director, Lance Davis. “His Christians are not merciful heroes, and his Shylock is not a greedy villain. His comedy does not end comfortably. Join us to listen to this brilliant 16th Century portrayal of justice vs. mercy. In today’s darkness of world tension, a shaft of light is most welcome, isn’t it?”

Parson’s Nose Readers Theater readings and productions are offered as “Pay What You Will” and may be reserved in advance or purchased at the door.

Saturday, October 18 at 7:00pm
Sunday, October 19 at 3:00pm
Lineage Performing Arts Center
89 S. Fair Oaks, Pasadena, CA 91105
Tickets and Information: 626-403-7667 or
Prices: Pay What You Will
Running time appx. 90 minutes plus intermission. Appropriate ages 12+.

Parson’s Nose Theater Kicks Off New Season with Reading of The Merchant of Venice

Parson's Nose 2014

Jill Rogosheske, Michael Manuel, and Lance Davis in the Reader’s Theater performance of The School for Scandal. Photo by Peter Zuehlke

Parson’s Nose Theater, led by Artistic Director Lance Davis, announces its 15th anniversary season of classic theater in Southern California. The company’s season consists of three Reader’s Theater Series performances and three Full Productions. The Merchant of Venice kicks off the Reader’s Theater Series in October, followed by A Christmas Carol in December and The Barber of Seville in January, 2015. The season will also feature full productions of The Pied Piper of Hamlin – A Musical, The Madwoman of Chaillot, and Our American Cousin. All Reader’s Theater and Full Productions are original adaptations by Parson’s Nose artistic director, Lance Davis.

“It’s our fifteenth season introducing classic works to the people of Los Angeles. And we are just as committed to their relevance,” says Mr. Davis. “Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice presents two warring cultures, one behind the walls of the other. The Pied Piper is from an Eastern European legend of children lost in a war. Dickens’A Christmas Carol has reminded us for 160 years what it is to be human. Beaumarchais’ The Barber of Seville sails two young lovers through the rapids of authority. Giraudoux’s Madwoman of Chaillot ends the fracking of Paris. And Tom Taylor’s 1859 comedy sends our boorish American Cousin to visit an erstwhile Downton Abbey. Come get to know the lights of our past, that shine on our present and into our future.”  More

Review: Downtown Rep Revives THE MERCHANT OF VENICE

Downtown Rep - Merchant  of Venice
Within the courtyard of the historic Pico House in downtown LA, the Downtown Repertory Theater Company is in the midst of offering its sixth season of classical works. Led by artistic director Devon Armstrong, they have taken on Chekhov, Marlowe, Odets and numerous plays by Shakespeare, all while encouraging actors to tackle roles they might not otherwise have the opportunity to play.

The three story brick building makes a perfect setting for Shakespeare, with its picturesque arches, metal railings and balconies. It should, since it was originally built in 1869 by Don Pio Pico, the last Mexican governor of California, who opened it as the first luxury hotel in LA. The back wall of the courtyard was also the site of the first theater in Los Angeles so it is fitting that it is once again used in that artistic capacity. It makes an especially beautiful setting for the company’s current production of The Merchant of Venice, directed by Ivan Rivas and starring David Nathan Schwartz as Shylock.  More

Review: City Shakes Offers a Milder Version of The Merchant of Venice

City Shakes - Merchant of Venice

Front: Allison Volk and David Hartstone. Back: Mallory Wedding, Frank Weidner and David Landberg.

The young, relatively new, City Shakespeare Company is offering a 90-minute modern take on Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice now through April 12, but the well-intentioned effort produces mixed results. Any abbreviated adaptation of Shakespeare’s text runs the risk of eliminating moments that show the full colors of his characters but director Brooke Bishop not only edits out much of the conflict and harsh reality of the play, she reduces her characters to types, and the villain Shylock to what feels like a secondary role. The play may be called The Merchant of Venice but it is the moneylender that Shakespeare uses to teach his audience a lesson and without his passion and pain, the story’s impact is marginalized.

Gone is the cultural insight into Antonio (Todd Elliott) and his friends’ mistreatment of the Jew and many of the references that would explain why Shylock (Peter Nikkos) is so bitter and hard of heart. Gone too is the deeper motivation for Shylock’s daughter Jessica (the very sweet Megan Ruble) to run away from her father’s house and marry a Christian, which gives great insight into Shylock’s character. Some of the most eloquent passages have either been dropped to accommodate an actor who is in over his head, or are allowed to remain but are delivered with only the slightest understanding of the text.  More

City Shakes opens The Merchant of Venice with a Red Carpet Masquerade

The City Shakespeare Company is kicking off its 2014 season with a bash. The Santa Monica-based theater company is hosting a red carpet masquerade ball on opening night, Thursday, March 27. Theater-goers will enjoy Hollywood-style red carpet arrivals and complimentary wine starting at 7 pm, followed by a 90-minute performance of The Merchant of Venice. Dancing and prizes for the best masquerade costumes conclude the evening.

The company, which is currently housed in an early 20th century warehouse space located within walking distance of the 3rd Street Promenade, is aware of the controversy that follows this play and City Shakes’ co-artistic directors Allison Volk and Brooke Bishop welcome the challenge with open arms.

Bishop, who is directing the production says, “My hope is that people leave the theater asking questions. If this play sparks a dialogue, if you leave wondering not who was right and who was wrong, but rather if right and wrong even matter at all, I will be ecstatic, and know we’ve done something worth doing.”

Peter Nikkos takes on the role of Shylock adding, “There is Shylock in everyman; my humble goal is to show the audience the ‘everyman’ in Shylock.”

In addition to Nikkos, the cast will include Todd Elliott (Antonio), David Hartstone (Bassanio), Daniel Landberg (Troubadour), Gilbert Martinez (Clown), Frank Raducz Jr. (Lorenzo), Megan Ruble (Jessica), Allison Volk (Portia), Mallory Wedding (Nerissa) and Frank Weidner (Gratiano). City Shakes’ production is adapted and directed by Brooke Bishop and will feature original music written and performed by Daniel Landberg.

March 27 – April 12, 2014
City Shakespeare Company
1454 Lincoln Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401
There is plenty of free street parking after 6pm. Doors open at 7:30 pm.
Thursdays/Fridays/Saturdays at 8:00 pm. Sundays April 6 & 13 at 4:00 pm
Tickets ($20):
Thursdays, April 3 & 10 are pay-what-you-can at the door.

Audition Update: Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles

Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles will hold AEA auditions for The Merchant of Venice on Tues. January 21st at 1238 W. 1st Street, Los Angeles, CA 90026. Sign-up begins at 8:00 am. Auditions 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. Please prepare up to 2 minutes of Shakespearean verse with a second piece ready. SCLA is looking for strong, classically trained, versatile, company-oriented actors capable and comfortable transforming into several characters within the course of a single performance. Performers of all ethnic and racial backgrounds are encouraged to attend.

Actors must be available during daytime hours if cast. The rehearsal schedule includes daytime rehearsals Sunday – Friday (Feb. 16 – March 16) and matinee school performances on weekdays (March 17-April 6).

Casting for the following roles:  More

Review: California Shakespeare Ensemble Highlights Shakespeare’s VILLAINS

CSE - Villains

Jeremy Radin as Shylock and Aaron Leddick as Tubal

Shakespeare’s plays are full of bad guys, or at least plenty of men and women who exhibit bad behavior often enough to be considered bad guys. Angelo in Measure For Measure, Hamlet’s uncle Claudius, and the bastards – Much Ado’s Don John and King Lear’s Edmund – certainly qualify, as does the power-hungry Lady Macbeth. Their motives may vary but, at the core, each is able to justify his or her evil actions as reasonable.

In California Shakespeare Ensemble’s latest production, director Brian Elerding has adapted the text from three of Shakespeare’s plays and crafted an episodic production starring three of his more complicated villains: Macbeth (Russ Bain), Shylock (Jeremy Radin), and Tybalt (Shahaub Roudbari). Rather than intertwining the story lines, each man’s tale remains self-contained and scenes cut back and forth between Scotland (Macbeth), Verona (Romeo and Juliet) and Venice (The Merchant of Venice), in essence making each villain the main focus of his own playlet.  More

Just in Time for Halloween: Shakespeare’s VILLAINS Come To Old Town Pasadena

Shakespeare's Villains

Imagine if Shakespeare’s best villains were taken out of their respective plays, reassembled Frankenstein-style, and finally got to be the focus of their own stories. The California Shakespeare Ensemble will do just that in Shakespeare’s VILLAINS as the company weaves three of the Bard’s finest antagonists into one engaging 90-minute show, using only Shakespeare’s original words. Lineage Performing Arts Center will host the CSE every Sunday at 8pm from Oct. 27 – Nov. 17 in this dark tragicomic look at what it means to be a “villain”.

Shakespeare’s most well-known villains like Iago and Richard III have a long history of fandom. But some of The Bard’s more complex villains may actually show us how much evil is in all of us. Is Shylock really a villain? Is Macbeth? The show follows three of Shakespeare’s villains – Shylock (Merchant of Venice), Macbeth (Macbeth), and Tybalt (Romeo and Juliet) – using Shakespeare’s original words and their own separate stories, but with a new adaptation and edit by CSE artistic director Brian Elerding, who also directs.  More

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