SIST Audition: THE MERCHANT OF VENICE By William Shakespeare

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Staten Island Shakespearean Theatre Company Audition Announcement:
THE MERCHANT OF VENICE By William Shakespeare

Directed by Mitchell Maglio

There is no denying that a current of humanity’s history of racism, antisemitism, and the persecution of “others” continues to flow today into dark, oppressive reservoirs of hatred. SIST’s production of The Merchant of Venice will be performed in Renaissance period, inside the beauty of the Tuscan Garden, and will retain the contrasting ugliness of antisemitic prejudice against the character of Shylock. Mitch Maglio, our director who is Jewish himself, aims to present Shylock as a full-blooded character rather than stereotype, and with that comes the exploration of Shylock’s journey as he confronts the dangers of seeking revenge and taking on the characteristics of his persecutors.

As with all our productions of Shakespeare’s works, we seek to create and hold aloft a mirror to our contemporary audiences and hope it inspires them to consider the effects of antisemitism, racism, and persecution in today’s world.

This will be a LIVE, outdoor show, with in person rehearsals. All actors MUST BE FULLY VACCINATED and provide proof upon entering the audition. Auditions will take place on Tuesday, April 26 and Wednesday, April 27 from 6:00 to 10:00pm in The Harbor Room, Building G, at Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden, 1000 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island, NY 10301. Possible callbacks will follow on Thursday the 28th between 6:30 and 9:00pm. To make an audition appointment email Nikita Chernin at [email protected] with a preferable time slot and we will accommodate as best as possible. If you’re interested but cannot attend these audition dates, please also contact Nikita Chernin.

Performances will take place at Sung Harbor’s RCSF Tuscan Garden on the
following dates:

  • Friday, July 8 – 8:00pm
  • Saturday, July 9 – 8:00pm
  • Friday, July 15 – 8:00pm
  • Saturday, July 16 – 8:00pm

A rain date has been set for the first week on Sunday July 10th. ALL ROLES ARE OPEN. There will be a small stipend provided to actors. Please prepare a monologue up to three minutes long from the play or other Shakespearean works. Memorized is preferred, but rather have you on book than not there if interested.

This production is interested in having a diverse cast and actors of color and Latinx descent are encouraged to audition. Several roles will also be open to either male or female actors.

Dramatis Personae

SHYLOCK, a rich Jew

PORTIA, a rich heiress

NERISSA, Portia’s waiting-woman

ANTONIO, a merchant of Venice

JESSICA, daughter to Shylock

LAUNCELET GOBBO, a clown, servant to Shylock

BALTHAZAR, servant to Portia

BASSANIO, suitor to Portia

GRATIANO, friend to Antonio and Bassanio

LEONARDO, servant to Bassanio

LORENZO – A young man

OLD GOBBO, father to Launcelet

SALARINO, friend to Antonio and Bassanio

SALERIO, a messenger from Venice

SOLANIO, friend to Antonio and Bassanio

STEPHANO, servant to Portia


THE PRINCE OF ARRAGON, suitor to Portia

THE PRINCE OF MOROCCO, suitor to Portia

TUBAL, a Jew, Shylock’s friend

Magnificoes of Venice, Officers of the Court of Justice, a Gaoler, Servants and other Attendants