Interview: The Merchant of Venice – Shakespeare Walla Walla – Opens August 8th

Aug 4, 2013 by

Shakespeare Walla Walla is bringing a swift, modern version of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice to Walla Walla’s Power House Theatre. I weaseled my way into a rehearsal and spoke to some of the cast and the director about what they’re up to. They performed a piece of the play for me, which you’ll hear after the interview, and talked about the themes, the adaptation, and the blending of local and imported actors on stage. I am joined by director and co-adaptor Tiger Reel, actor and co-adaptor Jack Young, imported actress Amelia Fischer and local actress Nicole Im.


The Merchant of Venice opens at the Power House Theatre in Walla Walla on the 8th of August.

You may be wondering something along the lines of: “Theatre? On TJWS’s site?” Yup. I gotta tell you, I love me some Shakespeare and when I had the opportunity to talk to these guys about what they were doing, I jumped at it.

It’s an edgy piece of Shakespeare and was so back when it was written 415 years ago. Basic plot: guy wants to woo girl. Guy has spent all of his money. Guy asks friend, who happens to be the Merchant of Venice, if he can borrow some money. The Merchant doesn’t have it, so he goes to the only people in town who lend money, the Jewish people. The Jewish moneylender he asks has a grudge and will give him the sum he wants, but if he defaults he must forfeit a pound of his flesh.

Come see it if you’re anywhere near Walla Walla from the 8th to the 18th. Tickets are $9 – $29 and there’s a “pay-what-you-will” performance on the 8th so anyone can come. I’ll be there the 13th through the 16th helping people find their seats.

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