Pequot Lakes High School will perform William Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice" in three shows this weekend in the high school auditorium.
The shows are scheduled at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $3 for students and $5 for adults.
In a tale of love overcoming all, Bassanio, played by senior Charlie Cook, wishes to win the hand of the beautiful and wealthy Portia, played by senior Kassi Owens. Unfortunately, he doesn't have the funds. He asks his friend, Antonio the Merchant, played by senior Zach Humphrey, for a loan. Antonio, with all his ships at sea, is strapped for cash. He agrees to take out a loan on his friend's behalf from the Jewish money lender Shylock, played by senior Eric Kloster. Holding a grudge against Antonio, Shylock agrees to give the loan on one condition: If it goes unpaid, Shylock can collect one pound of Antonio's flesh.
Shylock (left), played by Eric Kloster, confronted his servant, Lena, played by Erika Tweed, while his daughter, Jessica, played by Dacia Schultz, looked on in a scene in the Pequot Lakes High School spring play scheduled this weekend.
As Bassanio prepares to sail toward Belmont to win fair Portia's favor, Shylock's daughter, Jessica, played by junior Dacia Schulz, elopes with Antonio's friend, Lorenzo, played by sophomore Jordan Voges. Shylock's anger is fueled to rage. Then news arrives that Antonio's wealth is sinking with his ships.
Meanwhile, Portia has fallen for Bassanio, but before the two may marry, Bassanio must choose the correct treasure chest among three to fulfill Portia's father's will. Will Bassanio choose the correct chest? Will Antonio loose a pound of his flesh?
Upon defaulting on a loan, Antonio, played by Zach Humphrey, was ordered to lay bare his chest so that Shylock, played by Eric Kloster, may exact the penalty - a pound of Antonio's flesh - during a scene in the Pequot Lakes High School spring play scheduled this weekend.
Other students involved in the production include Joe Binda, Kayla Brown, Rachel Pierson, Cheyenne Syvertson, Jeff Redmond, Dylan Cuffe, Brianna Carkhuff, David Liedl, Emilia Gunnarsdottir, Eddie Binda, Mitchell Dahlman, Tom Johnson, Larissa Jones, Brittney Hartry, Joe Kepner, Ally Koslofsky, Natasha Fitzpatrick, Gabrielle Good, Erika Tweed and Lexy Lenhardt. The text was abridged by director Daren Blanck. Danae Anderson is the assistant director.
Originally written as a comedy, "The Merchant of Venice" is one of the most difficult of Shakespeare's plays to perform. It twists romance and hatred and forces modern audiences to confront the anti-Semitism that pervades our history. Many of the students in the production are studying the history of Venice, the play and anti-Semitism in an accompanying theater class during the school day.
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