Upcoming Community Panel and Youth Shakespeare Join to Discuss Racism, Anti-semitism, and Gender

Jan 6, 2020

Credit theatresantafe.org

 KSFR Wake Up Call Segment Host/Producer MK Mendoza speaks with a group of young actors from Santa Fe's own Shakespeare youth theatre company, The Upstart Crows along with their director Karyl Farkus about their upcoming production of The Merchant of Venice. They are also joined by Reverand Gail Mariner from Santa Fe's Unitarian Universalist Congregation and former head of the Interfaith Leadership Council who are participating in tomorrow's panel discussion around the issues of race, anti-semitism and gender highlighted by the play that are still so relevant in today's world.

Listen Below: 

More on the Play and Community Panel Discussion Below with Links for More Information: 

Upstart Crows of Santa Fe and the Unitarian Universalist Congregation host a panel discussion on Shakespeare's
The Merchant of Venice

There will be a panel discussion of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, Tuesday, January 7th, at 7 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation. The discussion precedes  performances at The Swan Theater by Upstart Crows of Santa Fe and is designed to address the challenges of producing this a play which raises issues of racism, sexism and antisemitism that are painfully relevant in our times. The panel includes John Andrews, editor, educator, and founder of The Shakespeare Guild, Rabbi Neil Amswych, of Temple Beth Shalom, Robin Williams, dramaturg and co-founder of the International Shakespeare Center, Caryl Farkas, Director of Upstart Crows of Santa Fe, and members of the Upstart Crows. Three casts of Crows will perform brief scene excerpts from the play. The event is free and open to the public.

The play has many themes still relevant to today's world regarding the themes the panelists take on. To read more about the play, see below plot and follow links below: 

Upstart Crows of Santa Fe present Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice.
Three casts of young Shakespeareans 10-18 perform an uncut production of this brilliant and challenging play. The Merchant of Venice contains two intertwined plots - a love story, and a revenge tale. And yet neither is what it seems at first. Shakespeare subverts the comedic form with this story of deplorable couples and prejudiced officials in a greed-driven system. Portia, a rich heiress, is bound by her dead father to have all marriage suitors tested by choosing which of three boxes contains her portrait. Antonio, a Venetian merchant takes a loan from the Jewish moneylender Shylock to help his friend Bassanio try his luck with Portia. Bassanio is successful and Portia makes him swear his faithfulness by accepting a ring, which he promises never to lose or give away. All of Venice is seen as antisemitic in this story, but Antonio is egregiously so, never missing an opportunity to verbally or physically abuse Shylock. When all his ships sink or go astray, Antonio is unable to repay the loan, and Shylock, whose daughter has just robbed him and run away with a Venetian Catholic, decides to hold him to his bond, which was a pound of Antonio's flesh. To save her new husband’s friend, Portia dresses as a male lawyer and thwarts Shylocks claim in court, ruining him and forcing him to convert to Christianity. Antonio urges Bassanio to give the “lawyer” his ring, which he does, enabling Portia to hold this over him when they reunite. The play ends with the seemingly merry union of the less than admirable couples. The audience goes away with the distinct feeling that many things are very wrong.

The Merchant of Venice at the Swan Theater
January 17-Feb 2, Fridays and Saturdays 7 p.m. Sunday matinees 2 p.m.

For More Information, see links below:

(505) 466-3533
contact: Caryl Farkas - caryl@upstartcrowsofsantafe.org