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Casting Announced for John Douglas Thompson-Led The Merchant of Venice

Thompson will play Shylock in a new production from director Arin Arbus and Theatre for a New Audience.

John Douglas Thompson played the title role in Christopher Marlowe's Tamburlaine at TFANA in 2014. He returns in 2022 to star as Shylock in The Merchant of Venice.
(© Gerry Goodstein)

Casting has been announced for the John Douglas Thompson-led production of William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, which is set to begin performances at Brooklyn's Polonsky Shakespeare Center on February 5 ahead of an official opening on February 15. Performances are currently slated through March 6 before the production transfers to Washington D.C.'s Shakespeare Theatre Company (March 22–April 21).

Thompson will play the role of Shylock, a Jewish moneylender who accepts the promise of a "pound of flesh" as collateral for a loan to a wealthy but cash-poor Venetian merchant. He will be joined by Isabel Arraiza as Portia, Shirine Babb as Nerissa, Jeff Biehl as Balthazar, Danaya Esperanza as Jessica, Alfredo Narciso as Antonio, and Sanjit De Silva as Bassanio.

Additional casting includes Varín Ayala as Prince of Aragon, Yonatan Gebeyehu as Solanio, David Lee Huynh as Lorenzo, Maurice Jones as Prince Morocco/Duke/Tubal, Nate Miller as Lancelot Gobbo, Haynes Thigpen as Gratiano, and Graham Winton as Salerio.

Arin Arbus directs under the banner of Theatre for a New Audience. The Merchant of Venice is a co-production with Shakespeare Theatre Company. The production features set design by Riccardo Hernandez, costume design by Emily Rebholz, lighting design by Marcus Doshi, and original music and sound design by Justin Ellington.