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‘The Merchant of Venice’ at Greenbelt Arts Center

MerchantGREENBELT – The Rude Mechanicals troupe makes the bold choice of performing “The Merchant of Venice” at the Greenbelt Arts Center (through June 30). “The Merchant of Venice” is regarded as one of Shakespeare’s problematic plays, though these are among Shakespeare’s most interesting. Using a mostly female cast, this production embraces a spirit of experimentation. While not always entirely successful, the boldness of interpretation is interesting and at times even riveting.  

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A dark ‘Macbeth’ is lit at Blackfriars Playhouse

Macbeth StauntonSTAUNTON – Though we “write men’s virtues in water,” according to Shakespeare, performing plays as ever “more water glideth by” is quite another matter. The topic this week is performing Shakespeare as it was meant to be enacted, for the Hard Bargain Players of Prince George’s County in May performed Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” from May 10 to 19. It was performed in “a space where it was always meant to be played: right under our beautiful canopy of trees and starlight!” Although the Hard Bargain Players’ website waxed in this way lyrical on its Theatre in the Woods productions in Accokeek, the outdoor performance I had hoped to attend was not possible due to the heavy daily rains of last week. “To the water side, I must conduct your grace” indeed! (Shakespeare).    

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