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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: September ::
Re: Merchant of Auschwitz
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1860  Monday, 9 September 2002

[1]     From:   Jane Drake Brody <
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        Date:   Friday, 6 Sep 2002 09:50:10 EDT
        Subj:   Merchant

[2]     From:   Jane Drake Brody <
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        Date:   Saturday, 7 Sep 2002 12:47:15 EDT
        Subj:   Merchant Correction

[3]     From:   Mari Bonomi <
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        Date:   Friday, 6 Sep 2002 13:02:07 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1849 Re: Merchant of Auschwitz

[4]     From:   David Wallace <
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        Date:   Saturday, 07 Sep 2002 00:31:26 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1849 Re: Merchant of Auschwitz


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jane Drake Brody <
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Date:           Friday, 6 Sep 2002 09:50:10 EDT
Subject:        Merchant

I am fairly certain that the Illinois Shakespeare Festival did
"Merchant" set in a concentration camp this past summer.  It was
directed by the Israeli writer, playwright and director, Jonathan
Sobol.  I did not see the production.

The festival itself is associated with Illinois State University and is
set in Normal, Illinois.  It is a beautiful outdoor structure set in a
park-like setting with terrific acoustics and is therefore un-miked.  It
is well worth a visit.

Jane Drake Brody

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jane Drake Brody <
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Date:           Saturday, 7 Sep 2002 12:47:15 EDT
Subject:        Merchant Correction

I just heard from my friend at the Illinois Shakespeare Festival, and I
was wrong.

Well, that's happened before. The Director, Joshua Sobol set Merchant in
Mussolini-era Venice.  Sorry bout that.

Jane Brody

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mari Bonomi <
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Date:           Friday, 6 Sep 2002 13:02:07 -0400
Subject: 13.1849 Re: Merchant of Auschwitz
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1849 Re: Merchant of Auschwitz

There was a production in the late '90's of Marlowe's Jew of Malta set
in a concentration camp where the Nazi guards forced the Jewish
prisoners to perform and interpolated guards' comments, etc.  It was
staged by a member of SHAKSPER whose name has flown from my mind (well,
his first name is Stevie and he's a British professor and a true
gentleman who allowed me to use his then unpublished articles on the
production in research for a grad paper), to my great embarrassment.
*searches in her medicine closet for that box of Senior  Moment*

Perhaps that is what the correspondent heard of?

Mari Bonomi

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Wallace <
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Date:           Saturday, 07 Sep 2002 00:31:26 -0700
Subject: 13.1849 Re: Merchant of Auschwitz
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1849 Re: Merchant of Auschwitz

 Matthew Henerson writes:

"I've heard of a Czech production, I think it was, that used a
concentration camp as a framing device... [T]he production ended
two-thirds of the way through the trial scene when the inmate playing
Shylock broke out of the scene and stabbed the camp commandant,
whereupon the guards shot him dead.  End of play.  I believe I had this
account from a collection of essays called "Foreign Shakespeare:
Contemporary Performance" edited by Dennis Kennedy."

This sounds similar to a production I heard described. In this instance,
Shylock was played by the sadistic camp commandant. At the play's
conclusion, the inmates (who assumed the other roles) rose up and killed
the commandant, thus destroying their tormentor and the hateful Jewish
stereotype in a single stroke. As I recall, I heard of this production
from the documentary "Shylock", produced by (I think) by The National
Film Board of Canada.

Regards,
David Wallace

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