Merchants of Venice Play Opening in Fort Lauderdale is a South Florida-only black twist on the Shakespearean saga | She got game media


‘Merchants of Venice’ A Twist on a Classic Will Feature a Cast of South Florida Colors and Suits by Miami Fashion Institute

Merchants of VeniceGrace Arts FL

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

You may be familiar with the play The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare. It is a 16th century play in which a Venetian merchant named Anthony defaults on a large loan from a Jewish pawnbroker, Shylock. It is believed to have been written between 1596 and 1599.

Grace Arts, FL. a Florida non-profit theater company, has assembled a talented cast of young performers to tell this Shakespearean classic in a unique way, featuring costumes designed by Miami’s Fashion Institute and talented actors of color from southern Florida.

“The Merchants of Venice” will be one of the first productions at the new Vcourt case Black Box Theater in Fort Lauderdale located on Sistrunk Boulevard. He starts on July 7, 2022.

Clare Vickery, director of Grace Arts FL., said the inspiration for the adaptation of Merchant of Venice came years ago while researching the Underground Railroad.

“Florida, or “La Florida” as a Spanish territory was called in the 17-1800s, was an early refuge for the prosperous maroon communities and a pathway to freedom for black and brown people fleeing colonial slavery, but later the state would become a Jim Crow South bastion. Miami and Fort Lauderdale have historic African American neighborhoods and commercial districts with many thriving and iconic cultural sites and businesses that no longer stand but were in full bloom in the 1930s to 60s.

Our “Merchants of Venice” take replaces Shakespeare’s Venice and Belmont with a South Florida Black Renaissance starting after The great Depression. Shylock, played by veteran actor Kent Chambers-Wilson, represented the survivalist tactics of the ancient blacks who managed to create wealth despite the constraints of the devastating economic crash and racist policies,” Vickery said.

Antonio, Bass (anio), Lorenzo (young men of modest means but big dreams) and the daughters of black wealth – Portia, a wealthy heiress, and her friend Nerissa with Jessica (Shylock’s daughter) — reject the guardrails of the past and want to forge fast paths towards full civic rights; they use unbridled creativity and risk-taking to achieve goals of freedom rather than retaining the wealth of their elders.

The religious tensions of Bard’s 16th-century play are replaced by the overflowing, searing optimism and fierce struggle for freedom of 20th-century black merchants and their families written and directed by Darius V. Daughterrylocal writer, director, educator and founder/artistic director of Art Prevails Project.

Merchants of Venice Writer/Director Darius DaughtryGrace Arts FL

A surprise ending to the story is guided by a Narrator who plays the blues (DouglasXaire Goodridge) which reveals the real lives of the black creatives and entrepreneurs embodied in the characters. costumes conceived by consultant designer Taofeek Abijako (Head of State) with Miami Fashion Institute (Asanyah Davidson and Miami Dade College) feature capes evoking the production’s classic and contemporary twists and the superhero strength of the real people who established Overtown and Sistrunk Communities.

Former manager of the historic Hampton House and Artist, Iman Warren, uncovered fascinating insights into the people who founded acting schools, beauty empires, theaters, clubs and hospitality venues. Neglected in the past, these real people are gaining popularity among merchants.

The Merchants of Venice cast:

David Hepburn

Denzel McCausland

Marlo Rodriguez

Ayomi Russell

Yamille Mercedes

Kent Chambers-Wilson

Douglas Xaire” Goodridge

Pierre Galman Shakespearean Coach and Consulting Director

What: Merchants of Venice a piece from Grace Arts, Florida

Where: Victory Black Box Theater on Sistrunk Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale

When: Open July 7, 2022. Until July 10, 2022.

Tickets and more information: Available on Eventbrite


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