Merchant of Venice 2022

“still recovering emotionally” 

“still awake”

“Thompson carries the play on his shoulders. His Shylock is a man of tremendous inner strength whose faith (along with his money) has become the shield that protects him (or so he hopes) from the abuse he is subjected to. Shylock is treated so viciously that one would feel sympathy for him even if he were not played by a great actor. He has intellect and a full range of powerful emotions: his love for his daughter Jessica (Danaya Esperanza); the heartbreak of losing his wife, Leah; and an overwhelming need for justice, in a world that is never going to provide it to him.”


Shylock and Jessica appear onstage, side by side, at the very end of the play to recite a Jewish prayer called the “Kol Nidre.” This prayer is thought to have originated due to the forced conversion of Jewish people during the Spanish Inquisition: it allows Jewish people “to recant forced vows they have made during the year so that they can freely celebrate Yom Kippur, the holy Day of Atonement.”

“Our vows shall not be considered vows; our renunciations shall not be considered renunciations; and our promises shall not be considered promises.”