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Attend a live performance of the Merchant of Venice at UC Berkeley

Artwork for theatre dybbuk’s “The Merchant of Venice (Annotated), or In Sooth I Know Not Why I Am So Sad”

On behalf of the UCOP Shakespeare Club, UCOP staff are invited to join UC Berkeley’s The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life and theatre dybbuk for a free live, in-person performance of “The Merchant of Venice (Annotated), or In Sooth I Know Not Why I Am So Sad” on Wednesday, Sept. 13. RSVP here.

What can a play from 16th-century England tell us about how antisemitism and other prejudicial beliefs operate in our world today? What perceived truths does a play reveal about the society in which it was created, and what ideas within that society does it reinforce?

William Shakespeare likely wrote “The Merchant of Venice” between 1596 and 1598, only a few years after plague had temporarily closed London’s theaters. This was a period of great uncertainty in English society, with ongoing conflicts taking their toll, concerns about the government’s stability under an aging leader, and significant economic stresses. The anxieties associated with these societal pressures can perhaps be seen in “Merchant” in its portrayal of Shylock, the Jewish moneylender.

Bringing together elements of “Merchant” with Elizabethan history and news from the 21st century, theatre dybbuk’s “The Merchant of Venice (Annotated), or In Sooth I Know Not Why I Am So Sad” takes a kaleidoscopic view of the ways in which members of a society displace their fears on the “other” during times of upheaval.

The presentation at The Magnes will include approximately 75 minutes of readings from the work performed by actors from theatre dybbuk. The performance will be followed by a discussion with the artists behind the work, during which the team will unpack the themes of the piece and share about the research and creation process.

Join us

  • What: theatre dybbuk presents “The Merchant of Venice” (Annotated), or “In Sooth I Know Not Why I Am So Sad”
  • When: Wednesday, Sept. 13, from 7 – 9 p.m.
  • Where: The Magnes Collection, 2121 Allston Way, Berkeley, California
  • RSVP: Free, limited tickets are available online here.

For questions, or to learn more about the UCOP Shakespeare Club, contact Nicola Gruen.

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