PerformInk is Chicago's entertainment industry trade publication.
Pictured: Top row left-right: Sunny Anam, Simran Bal, Anand Bhatt, Luisa Blanco, Dennis Garcia. Middle row left-right: Suzan Faycurry, Kamal Hans, Anish Jethmalani, Alka Nayyar, Madrid St. Angelo. Bottom row left-right: Siddhartha Rajan, Murtaza Kapasi, Almanya Narula, Priyank Thakkar, Ben Veatch.
Rasaka Theatre Company and Vitalist Theatre of Chicago have announced the cast and design team for the remount of Shishir Kurup’s South Asian re-imagining of Shakespeare’s THE MERCHANT OF VENICE entitled MERCHANT ON VENICE.
Directed by Liz Carlin-Metz, the production features four of the original cast members from the 2007 Silk Road Rising production, including Anish Jethmalani as Sharuk (Kurup’s surrogate for Shakespeare’s Shylock), Rasaka’s Producing Artistic Director Kamal Hans as Jitender, Madrid St. Angelo as Devender, and Rasaka Associate Artistic Director Alka Nayyar as Kavita (Nayyar will also serve as choreographer).
Joining Jethmalani, Hans, St. Angelo, and Nayyar is Suzan Faycurry as Pushpa, along with Sunny Anam, Almanya Narula, Simran Bal, Anand Bhatt, Luisa Blanco, Dennis Garcia, Murtaza Kapasi, Siddhartha Rajan, Priyank Thakkar, and Ben Veatch.
The production team includes Craig Choma (scenic design), Rachel Sypniewski (costume design), Rich Norwood (lighting designer), Tracee Bear (assistant costume designer), Gregor Mortis (sound designer), Bailey Howard (stage manager), Emily Antoff (assistant director/assistant producer), Kathleen Dickinson (production manager), and Kevin Scott (technical director).
From the press release: “A tragi-comic, raucous, dark and irreverent work, Kurup’s play is set on Venice Boulevard in present day Culver City, California – a section of the Los Angeles area where hatred and intolerance among Hindus and Muslims has grown to a boiling point. With rock-and-roll and Bollywood-influenced music, blank verse and present-day pop references — replete with Indian, American, and Latino jargon that reflect the sound of the South Asian Diaspora, as well as the polyglot crackle of Los Angeles — the play explores how the preponderance of power in one sector of a community can marginalize a minority and provoke reactionary and retributive responses.”
MERCHANT ON VENICE runs March 20th – April 15th.