Merchant of Venice Winter Tour

Thank you for joining us for Elements Theatre Company’s Winter 2015 tour and “Arts in Conversation” series, an annual program exploring issues that matter deeply to us as a society, and as human beings.

“I salute Elements Theatre Company for daring to have an exciting and a very important debate about such topics which are very much prevalent, even today. I was enthralled and enlightened by the whole event.” Hi! Drama (New York)

Elements Theatre Company, directed by Sister Danielle Dwyer, is a resident ensemble whose core mission is to educate and illuminate through the arts. This winter, we will travel to New York and Chicago to present Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice as a springboard for thought-provoking conversation on our culture’s view of “the other.” In a world torn by discrimination and prejudice of many kinds, we can feel powerless to create any real change — but by creating a space for deeper conversation and reflection, we might discover insights at the core of the issues. What are the factors that drive an “outsider” to take extreme measures? In what ways could we be responsible for creating a climate of persecution, rather than acceptance? What are the qualities of mercy that might turn the tide of violence, in our culture and relationships? Featuring leaders in the arts, education, religion, media and social outreach, this series aims to create broader, richer dialogue on the power of the arts to humanize our culture.

Guest speakers and panelists include:


A Letter from the Director:

Dear Friends,
Welcome to The Merchant of Venice A Pound of Flesh Series.

The Merchant of Venice is an uncomfortable and confrontational play in practically every scene. There is no denying the hate, the prejudice, and the blatant superiority that seeps through most every character. Frank Underwood, Kevin Spacey’s character in House of Cards, has this to say:
“Hate starts in your gut, deep down here, where it stirs and churns and then it rises, hate rises fast and volcanic, it erupts hot on the breath.”

This would be true for many characters in this play. There is not one kind or gentle soul here, and all have joined the ranks of hate and prejudice.

Read the Full Letter

Watch the Panel Discussion from the Library for the Performing Arts!

Watch the Panel Discussion at East 13th Street Theater