Friday, June 27, 2008

Georgia Shakespeare's Summer Festival Continues with The Merchant of Venice

Georgia Shakespeare's summer season continues with the Bard's often controversial play, The Merchant of Venice which opens today Friday, June 27 and plays through August 2 at the Conant Performing Arts Center, Oglethorpe University (4484 Peachtree Rd. NE, Atlanta, GA 30319).

"We are excited to return to this stunning play after a fourteen year absence," says Richard Garner, Georgia Shakespeare's Producing Artistic Director.

"Long considered one of Shakespeare's most powerful and provocative plays, Sabin Epstein's delicate treatment of this emotional story shows us love and laughter intertwined with a harrowing glimpse at the darker side of the human condition. In this world where prejudice stands side by side with love and devotion and where justice is in the eye of the beholder, I think our audiences will be deeply moved by this profound staging of this great classic."

The Merchant of Venice is directed by Sabin Epstein, whose previous Georgia Shakespeare directorial credits include 2007's Loot, The Cherry Orchard in 2005, and What the Butler Saw in 2004. The cast features long-time Georgia Shakespeare actor and Associate Artist Chris Kayser as Shylock, Park Krausen as Portia, Joe Knezevich as Bassanio, and Allen O'Reilly as Antonio, the merchant.

Georgia Shakespeare will host a pre-show panel discussion on the topic of anti-Semitism and The Merchant of Venice which will be moderated by Bill Nigut of the Anti-Defamation League. The panel will be held on July 23rd at the Conant Performing Arts Center, Georgia Shakespeare's home on the campus of Oglethorpe University, at 5:30 PM and is free and open to the public. Those wishing to attend the panel discussion and the performance of The Merchant of Venice can purchase a ticket package which includes discounted tickets and a picnic dinner on the theatre's beautiful picnic grounds for just $35. In addition to The Merchant of Venice, Georgia Shakespeare's summer festival includes two other Shakespeare classics - the Sixties inspired As You Like It (now - August 1), and the rarely produced All's Well That Ends Well (July 10 - August 3). Also slated for the 2008 season is the Family Classics Series world premiere of the English folktale Tom Thumb the Great by Margaret Baldwin (July 18 - August 2), and an original musical adaptation Antigone (October 9 - November 2).

Tickets for The Merchant of Venice range from $15 - $40 ($10 preview tickets available on Thursday, June 26). For tickets call 404.264.0020 or visit

Click here for a list of the cast and production staff for The Merchant of Venice.
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