The Merchant of Venice

The Merchant of Venice

by William Shakespeare

May 14, 2018

For over 300 years, The Merchant of Venice was one of Shakespeare’s best known and liked plays. It has a hate plot where good triumphs over evil at the very last minute. It has a love plot: the hand of a princess is won by the young suitor who solves the famous riddle of the three caskets. But in a post-holocaust century, the play has become more complicated, because the plays comic villain is, emphatically, a Jew. Shylock is the embodiment of many anti-Semitic stereotypes, and he is also a target of such stereotyping. He is both Jewish villain and Jewish victim.

The Merchant of Venice has become one of Shakespeare’s most problematic plays—a romantic comedy, a courtroom thriller, a dissection of a wealthy society not unlike our own, and an exploration of racial prejudice. What does this all add up to? One of the most exciting nights of theater you could hope for, and played out in our festival tent at Rock Ledge Ranch it promises to be the most entertaining and absorbing evening of the summer.

-Murray Ross

*Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Manager in the United States.


  • Tom ParadiseAntonio, the merchant
  • Dana KjelsdenSalarino, a gentleman
  • Dastán HarrisonSalanio, a gentleman
  • Christian O'ShaughnessyBassanio, a lord
  • Brandon KruhmGratiano, a gentleman
  • Stephen SiebertLorenzo, a gentleman
  • Karl BrevikSalerio, a gentleman
  • Steve WallaceDuck of Venice / Prince of Arragon
  • Christopher LowellShylock, the Jew
  • Carmen VreemanJessica, his daughter
  • Jordan MathewsLauncelot Gobbo, his servant
  • Michael PrestonOld Gobbo, Launcelot's father
  • Hossein ForouzandehPrince of Morocco / Jailer
  • Jane Noseworthy*Portia, a rich heiress
  • Misha Johnson*Nerissa, her maid
  • Karl BrevikBalthazar, her servant
  • David HastingsStephano, her servant / Tubal, a Jew
  • C. C. Wells, Elizabeth Mackiewics, Audrey BishopCasket Bearers

Artistic Team

  • Murray RossArtistic Director
  • Drew MartorellaExecutive Director
  • Randy DipnerDevelopment Director
  • Ryan NeelyProducing Director
  • Roy BallardTechnical Director
  • Jeff FlygareAssistant Director
  • Amanda EwersProps Master
  • Katie Ryn GirtonOsborne Theater Manager
  • Irene HessnerAssistant Stage Manager
  • Kristin HindsCostume Shop First Hand
  • Brad HelzerMaster Electrician
  • Elizabeth Eubank, Jeffrey Tejada, Sarah WerlingBox Office Assitants
  • Lauren Eastlack, Amanda Ewers, Nathaneal MooberryProduction Assistants
  • Alex Samuels, Lauren Eastlack, Aubrey BishopInterns