Prince of Morocco
Prince of Arragon
Duke of Venice
Attendants, Citizens, Dignitaries
Production and Lightning by
Michele La Bombarda,
William Long Jr.,
The American Shakespeare Festival Theatre – Stratford - Connecticut
Premiere: July 10, 1957
In the Sixteenth Century, there was a great intolerance against Jews. In 1596, in the liberal Venice, Bassanio asks for a large amount to his friend, the merchant Antonio, to travel to Belmont and propose the gorgeous Portia. Antonio has invested all his money in his ships and borrows from the usurer Shylock, who proposes an unusual bond: if Antonio does not pay the money without any interest three months later, he might receive one pound of his flesh instead, at his choice. When Shylock's daughter Jessica runaway home with all his money and jewels, he becomes furious. Meanwhile, the load of Antonio sinks with three different vessels and he is not able to pay his debts with Shylock, and the Jew goes to court of Venice claiming the execution of his deal. In spite of many requests, his tough heart does not accept any other agreement further than the one established in their contract.
John Chapman – New York Daily News
"There was extraordinary interest, of course, in the appearance of Katharine Hepburn as Portia, and it must be reported at the outset that this dauntless lady swept thorough Shakespeare like a cool, refreshing breeze. Her Portia is no mere lovely picture; she is a girl of intelligence, humor and iron determination – which is almost type-casting. She lifts the lighter parts of the play to a fine level of high comedy."
What Kate had to say
What fellow actors, the director and friends had to say