Buy Tickets From the 2015-2016 Season: The Merchant of Venice Playing June 03, 2016 to June 19, 2016

$15 General Admission Preview June 2

Doug Kaye, Amee Vyas

A lost fortune, a lover's choice and one of the most powerful expressions of "the quality of mercy" in literature: meet Portia, Bassanio and Shylock, the Jewish moneylender and one of Shakespeare’s most controversial characters of all time. A suspenseful comedy with a tragic core that has intrigued audiences for centuries. Does the expression of mercy come through in the characters’ actions?

Join the cast and crew members for a lively Question and Answer session on Sunday June 12 after the show!

Book Club with the Bard: Merchant of Venice
Friday June 3
Before Friday June 3’s opening night performance, join us at the Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse for a in-depth discussion of William Shakespeare’s controversial play The Merchant of Venice!

Meet us in the upstairs lobby at 5:30pm, and we’ll whisk you upstairs to one of our rehearsal halls for an opportunity to discuss the text of the play with Tavern staff members as well as members of The Merchant of Venice cast and crew. We highly recommend trying to read the play before Book Club! Don’t be worried you won’t get it! That’s why we’re going to talk about it!

This is a free event. Light refreshments will be provided, and each attendee will be entered into a raffle for one Main Floor VIP pass. Please RSVP by calling the box office at (404) 874-5299 x0.

Read the Plot Synopsis

Synopsis for The Merchant of Venice
-from The Pocket Companion to Shakespeare’s Plays by J.C. Trewin

Bassanio, needing money to woo Portia, heiress of Belmont, asks his friend Antonio, a Venetian merchant, for 3,000 ducats. Having no money by him and with all his ships at sea, Antonio goes to a Jewish moneylender, Shylock, who hates him for his loathing of usury. Shylock proposes what he calls a “merry bond” by which, if the money is not repaid within three months, he may take a pound of Antonio’s flesh; foolishly Antonio agrees.

Portia, at Belmont receives the Prince of Morocco, come to make his choice under the will of Portia’s father. All suitors must choose from three caskets (gold, silver and lead) the one that contains her portrait; those who fail can never contemplate marriage again. Morocco fails with the golden casket, and the Prince of Arragon with the silver. Meanwhile, Bassanio and his friend Gratiano are on their way to Belmont; and Jessica, Shylock’s daughter, in the disguise of a boy, has eloped with Lorenzo, taking rings and ducats with her.

Shylock is furious about his losses. But Bassanio, choosing the correct (leaden) casket, prepares to wed Portia; her gentlewoman Nerissa and Gratiano also plan to marry. Then Salerio, Lorenzo and Jessica bring news that Shylock is demanding his due and that Antonio’s ships have “all miscarried”. There must be a trial; Portia arranges to be present at the court as a young lawyer (Balthasar), Nerissa as “his” clerk. There, admitting that the bond is flawless, she begs mercy from Shylock, who refuses and rejects all offers of money. He is about to take his pound of flesh when Portia turns on him. She warns him that according to the bond, he is not entitled to “one jot of blood”. Baffled, he will take his 3,000 ducats – only to be told that as an alien who has conspired against a Venetian’s life, his own life is forfeit. However he is pardoned and allowed half his fortune on the pledge that he will become a Christian and bequeath the money to Lorenzo and Jessica at his death.

When he has left the court the play is practically over except for the tranquil coda (it is used often to be cut) in the moonlight at Belmont, some comedy with rings, and the tidings that Antonio’s ships are safely come to port.

Director's Notes

Directed by Laura Cole

Show Information


Act One - 70 min / 15 min intermission / Act Two - 70 min (Ending time is approx. 10:15pm/9:15pm Sun)

Show Roles

June 3-19, 2016

Duke of Venice:  O’Neil Delapenha
Portia: Amee Vyas*
Nerissa: Kirstin Calvert
Prince of Morocco:  O’Neil Delapenha
Morrocco’s Men: Tamil Periasamy, Jacobi Hollingshed
Prince of Arragon:  Vinnie Mascola
Antonio: Matt Nitchie
Bassanio:Chris Rushing
Leonardo: Tamil Periasamy
Solanio: Eric Lang
Salerino:Mary Ruth Ralston
Gratiano: Doug Graham
Lorenzo:  Jacobi Hollingshed
Shylock: Doug Kaye*
Stephano: Tamil Periasamy
Tubal:  O’Neil Delapenha
Jessica:  Amanda Lindsey
Jailers: Jacobi Hollingshed, Vinnie Mascola
Henchman: Eric Lang
Launcelot Gobbo:  Vinnie Mascola
Old Gobbo:  O’Neil Delapenha
Portia’s Lady-in-Waiting: Mary Ruth Ralston
Balthasar: Tamil Periasamy
Musicians: Mary Ruth Ralston, O’Neil Delapenha

Show Times
In general, shows at The Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse begin at 7:30pm, except on Sundays, when they begin at 6:30pm.

Bardometer Rating

How difficult is this Shakespearean play to grasp? On a scale of 1 to 10.
What does rating this mean?

These are plays you may have read in high school or college. The plot is fairly uncomplicated, though some of the themes may be dense or dark. These plays may include supernatural elements, straight-forward politics, historical content or religious content. In these plays, there may also be bawdy language and certain adult situations. If we feel a show contains a plethora of Graphic Elizabethan Poetry (or is very bloody/violent/triggering) we will put that disclaimer in the blurb about the show.

Note for all plays: The performers of The Atlanta Shakespeare Company are specially trained to make Shakespeare’s text and intention clear, no matter the plot or the subject matter. They know precisely how to get to the emotional core of each line, each moment, each scene. We promise you will understand everything! Leave the heavy lifting to us!

Additional Information