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Princeton, NJ, March 22, 2011–Princeton Theological Seminary’s Department of Speech Communication in Ministry will present William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice on Thursday through Saturday, April 7 through 9 at 8:00 p.m., and Sunday, April 10 at 3:00 p.m. It will be presented in the Gambrell Room of Scheide Hall on the Seminary campus at 64 Mercer Street in Princeton.

The Merchant of Venice is one of Shakespeare’s most controversial plays. It has two intertwined plots, one centering on Shylock, a Jew who lends money to a fellow merchant with the possible forfeiture of a pound of flesh, the other centering on Portia, a young woman tied to her father’s will regarding a husband, who nevertheless manages to mete out justice for others. The two plots are connected through love, money, and conflicts between the Old and New Testaments. Critics are divided as to whether the play is anti-Semitic or a plea for religious tolerance. Two of its most famous speeches begin with “Hath not a Jew eyes…” and “The quality of mercy… .”

The play has been adapted for the stage by director Robert Lanchester, the Seminary’s assistant in speech. Seminary students make up the cast. The production is open to the public free of charge, but seats are limited and must be reserved in advance. For reservations and/or information, contact Marija DiViaio at 609.497.7963.

Princeton Theological Seminary was founded in 1812 as the first seminary established by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church. It is the largest Presbyterian seminary in the country, with more than 500 students in six graduate degree programs.



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