Starring F. Murray Abraham
Coming To Bank of America Theatre
March 15-27, 2011
Tickets On Sale Now
CHICAGO (Jan. 24, 2011) – Broadway In Chicago is thrilled to announce that individual tickets for William Shakespeare’s tragiccomedy “The Merchant of Venice” from the acclaimed Theatre for a New Audience, are on sale now for its Chicago debut during a limited, two-week engagement, March 15-27 2011, at the Bank of America Theatre (18 West Monroe St.).
Starring Oscar winner F. Murray Abraham (“Amadeus,” 1984) in his riveting portrayal of Shylock, and directed by Darko Tresnjak (former Artistic Director, Old Globe), the play has been arousing controversies for centuries with raucous and gentle comedy, tender poetry, and its struggle with mercy and justice. In this riveting update, religion, race and sexuality collide with love, family and justice and the currency of society and humanity has never been so changeable.
As Shylock, Mr. Abraham’s performance is acclaimed: “touches greatness in every aspect of an immensely challenging role (New York Observer); “Among the great performances of our time.” (Stephen Greenblatt, New York Review of Books. “In a performance as daring as it is powerful, Mr. Abraham delves into the shadowier recesses of Shylock’s corrupted psyche, making him a little more sinister than sympathetic, sinning as much as sinned against…The achievement of this production is to offer a Shylock who is the equal of his tormentors in this exacting cruelty, not just a wronged man unhinged by suffering” (Charles Isherwood. New York Times). Darko Tresnjak’s production received raves: “In its visible modernity, Darko Tresnjak's production for New York's Theater for New Audience gets to the work's disturbed heart." The Guardian; “The quality of Tresnjak’s staging is mercifully high, and presents the most compelling possible argument for Shylock in the form of F. Murray Abraham, an actor of tremendous dignity and command.” Time Out, New York
THEATRE FOR A NEW AUDIENCE is the first American theatre to be invited to bring a production of Shakespeare to the Royal Shakespeare Company. Founded in 1979 by Jeffrey Horowitz, its mission is to develop and vitalize the performance and study of Shakespeare and classic drama. We are dedicated to a dialogue over centuries between Shakespeare and other great authors such as Marlowe, Edward Bond and Adrienne Kennedy. “New” in our name does not refer to an audience who goes to the theatre for the first time. “New” can mean a directional approach, a fresh talent, an innovative design, a rarely produced play, a new form and an audience open to discovery.
At Theatre for a New Audience, American and European artists interact, workshop, teach, and direct. The Theatre is committed to promoting the ongoing training of artists and supports the American Directors Project, a program led by Cicely Berry, C.B.E., Director of Voice, Royal Shakespeare Company.
The company’s productions and affiliated artists have been honored with such prestigious awards and nominations as Drama Desk, Lortel, Obie and the Tony. The Theatre’s production of the The Green Bird by Carlo Gozzi directed by Julie Taymor opened Off-Broadway, toured to La Jolla Playhouse, and later moved to Broadway. In 1994, Julie Taymor directed Titus Andronicus Off-Broadway for the Theatre. Taymor then directedTitus, a major film starring Anthony Hopkins and Jessica Lange. Theatre for a New Audience has an ongoing collaboration with the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC). Our production of Shakespeare’s Cymbeline directed by Bartlett Sher opened at the RSC’s The Other Place Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, in November 2001. In January 2006, Theatre for a New Audience’s production of Souls of Naples starring John Turturro toured to the Teatro Mercadante in Naples, Italy, and in March 2007 we returned to the RSC with The Merchant of Venice starring F. Murray Abraham and directed by Darko Tresnjak. In partnership with New York City, Theatre for a New Audience is building its first home, a center for Shakespeer and classic drama, in the BAM Cultural District. Groundbreaking will be this spring.
Theatre for a New Audience aspires to a civic role, bonding the diverse community of New York to the language, pleasures, and issues of classical drama. The Theatre offers talks with scholars, critics, and artists in conjunction with performances. Theatre for a New Audience created and runs the largest in depth program for introducing Shakespeare in the New York City Public Schools. The Theatre assists teachers in integrating classics into the Language Arts curriculum. Students study the play in their classroom and then see a Theatre for a New Audience production at special morning matinees. 2,100 students participate annually and over 120,000 young people ages 10–18 have been served since 1984. The Summer Arts Institute is a tuition-free, intensive, four-week arts program for New York City public school students. The Shakespeare Institute, supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, offers public and private middle and high school teachers the opportunity to strengthen their familiarity with Shakespeare and their skills in communicating themes to students. Theatre for a New Audience’s educational programs received the Municipal Arts Society’s Certificate of Merit.
THE MERCHANT OF VENICE is part of the 2011 Broadway In Chicago Subscription Series.
THE MERCHANT OF VENICE begins performances on March 15, 2011 at the Bank of America Theatre and will run through March 27, 2011. Individual tickets go on sale Jan. 16, 2011 and range in price from $22.50 - $72.50. Tickets are available at all Broadway In Chicago Box Offices (24 W. Randolph St., 151 W. Randolph St. and 18 W. Monroe St.), the Broadway In Chicago Ticket Line at (800) 775-2000, all Ticketmaster retail locations (including Hot Tix and select Carson Pirie Scott, Coconuts and fye stores), and online at www.BroadwayInChicago.com. For groups of 15 or more, call (312) 977-1710.