With the remount of the South Asian re-imagining of Shakespeare's THE MERCHANT OF VENICE, Rasaka Theatre Co. and Vitalist Theatre Co. are bringing Shishir Kurup's raucous MERCHANT ON VENICE back to Chicago this spring. Directed in 2018 by Vitalist Artistic Director Liz Carlin Metz, MERCHANT ON VENICE explores empathy and grace -- as well as blame, and internalized and externalized religious bigotry, while mixing with the clash/mash of South Asian culture in L.A.
MERCHANT ON VENICE will feature several of the Chicago-based artistic team from the world premiere, originally produced by Silk Road Rising in 2011.
A tragi-comic, raucous, dark and irreverent work, Kurup’s play is set on Venice Boulevard in present day Culver City, California – a section of the Los Angeles area where hatred and intolerance among Hindus and Muslims has grown to a boiling point. With rock-and-roll and Bollywood-influenced music, blank verse and present-day pop references -- replete with Indian, American and Latino jargon that reflect the sound of the South Asian Diaspora as well as the polyglot crackle of Los Angeles -- the play explores how the preponderance of power in one sector of a community can marginalize a minority, and provoke reactionary and retributive responses.
(Show description modified from Silk Road Rising's 2007 World Premiere production of Shishir Kurup's MERCHANT ON VENICE.)
MERCHANT ON VENICE
By Shishir Kurup
Directed by Liz Carlin Metz
March 20 – April 15, 2018
Previews March 20 and 21 at 7:30 pm
PRESS OPENING THURSDAY, MARCH 22 – 7:30 PM
Regular run performance times: Thursdays-Saturdays @ 7:30pm, Saturdays and Sundays @ 2:30pm.
Ticket prices: $25 (General Admission), $20 (Students/Seniors/Groups), $15 (Industry) Performances at: Greenhouse Theater Mainstage, 2257 N Lincoln Ave Chicago, IL 60614
Tickets on sale soon at www.greenhousetheater.org
Age Recommendation (12+)
ABOUT RASAKA THEATRE COMPANY
Rasaka is Chicago’s only South Asian theatre ensemble. Our goal is to increase diversity among artists and audience by engaging and illuminating the South Asian American experience. We are particularly dedicated to providing a platform for the artistic expression of South Asian artists. We aim to broaden, strengthen and enrich the experience of the theatre audiences and enhance the local, regional, national and international reputation of Chicago theatre. “Rasa” means the essence or inspiration of a work of art, and adding “ka” behind a word makes it “of” that, as in “of the essence of art.” www.rasakatheatre.com
ABOUT VITALIST THEATRE COMPANY
Founded in 1997 by Robin Metz (Executive Producer) and Liz Carlin Metz (Artistic Director), Vitalist Theatre, with its distinctive fusion of physical theatre, psychological dynamism, and Expressionist Realism, has established itself as a respected and award-winning member of the Chicago off-loop theatre community and routinely garners significant critical praise in the company of the best of Chicago theatre. Vitalist Theatre further celebrates visceral ideas through its commitment to visual expression and the written and spoken word as presented in its allied arts co-events, such as visual art installations and poetry readings by internationally renowned poets presented in conjunction with the plays.
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