Interconnected tales of friendship, love, family, and the price of doing business.

The Merchant of Venice

The Merchant of Venice

By William Shakespeare

Directed by Desdemona Chiang

Performed at the Center Theatre

March 20, 2018–April 15, 2018


Kings of Commerce. The wealthy heiress Portia is forced to set her suitors a challenge for her hand in marriage. In order to woo her, Bassanio finances his plan with money borrowed from his friend Antonio. All would be fine except Antonio has taken out a loan from the moneylender Shylock on the assurance that his ships will make it back to the city. They don’t, and Shylock demands repayment with a pound of Antonio’s flesh.

A Tough, Multi-faceted Jewel. The diverse and vibrant city of Venice comes alive in Shakespeare’s interconnected tales of friendship, love, family, business, and intolerance. Complex and memorable characters grapple with formidable issues. This play is wondrous lens in which to scrutinize racism, justice, mercy, anti-Semitism, sexism, economic marginalization, religious law, and civil society.

A Wealth of Drama. Blending romance, humor, and gripping spectacle, The Merchant of Venice also features some of Shakespeare’s most highly-charged scenes and smartest characters. Desdemona Chiang, whose Measure for Measure for Seattle Shakespeare Company was hailed by the Seattle Weekly as “Spirited” and “Incandescent,” returns to stage the production.

Season Sponsor: ArtsFund
Culinary Partner: Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes Catering and Events
Media Sponsor: KUOW