First photo is publicity photo provided by Cole Hatcher and accompanied with this caption:
Ohio Wesleyan University will present ‘The Merchant of Venice’ from Oct. 9-12. The cast features students Luke Steffen (left) as Antonio, Maeve Nash as Portia, Gabe Caldwell as Shylock, and Luke Scaros as Bassanio. (Photo by Chris MacDonald)
Photo on the top right: Director Elane Denny-Todd talks to sophomore Reggie Hemphill.
Photo on the middle left: The empty stage
Photos on the middle middle and middle right: (left to right) Freshman Charlie Lennon, junior Luke Steffen, and junior Christian Sanford rehearse a scene together.
Photos on the bottom left and right: Junior Luke Steffens and senior Luke Scaros rehearse a scene together.
Photo on bottom middle: Senior Luke Scaros rehearses as Bassanio.
Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice” is a tale of loyalty, love, greed, and justice, and is being brought to life by OWU’s theatre and dance department Oct. 9-12.
“As the theatre and dance department is a pre-professional department, we try on a regular basis to include Shakespeare in our main season productions,” said director and professor of performance Elane Denny-Todd. “Our students enjoy working with the language and our audiences always enjoy our performances.”
Denny-Todd said “The Merchant of Venice” is one of her favorite Shakespeare plays because of its characters and complexity.
Sophomore Gabe Caldwell is one of the more than fifty students on the production’s cast and crew. He portrays Shylock, a Jewish moneylender in Venice.
“He’s very vengeful, but there’s a human side to him that’s hurt,” Caldwell said.
He said his biggest challenge has been figuring out “what makes Shylock tick” because the dialogue is “static” but how it is delivered must be “fluid.”
“The amount of passion in the dialogue and how complex he is, especially considering his motivations, is exciting,” Caldwell said.
Denny-Todd said from time to time OWU’s productions, including “The Merchant of Venice” must run on an extended weekend instead of two weekends because of calendar issues, like the placement of mid-semester break and Thanksgiving break.
“Our biggest difficulty was that our rehearsal period was so short because of the calendar,” Denny-Todd said. “However, everyone in the cast and crew has worked extremely hard to make this production happen.”
Junior Margot Reed is the production’s stage manager, professor D. Glen Vanderbilt Jr. is creating the set and lighting, and part-time costume shop manager Jacqueline Shelley is making the costumes.
“The Merchant of Venice” performances are at 8 p.m. Oct. 9-11 and at 2 p.m. Oct. 12 in the Chappelear Drama Center.
Tickets are $10 for general admission, $5 for faculty and staff, and free for OWU students with a valid ID. To reserve tickets, contact the theatre office at 740-368-3855.