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Radio Shakespeare: The Merchant of Venice
Saturday, April 26, 2014 | 7:30 p.m.

Merchant of Venice

The Davidson College English Department and WDAV invite you to a live radio broadcast of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice on Saturday, April 26, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. This unique production of the Elizabethan classic harkens back to the heyday of radio drama, and is presented in commemoration of the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s baptism.

In addition to the live broadcast, you can attend performances of the play on April 25 and April 28 in the WDAV studios in the station’s Samuel W. Newell Building beginning at 7:30 p.m. A fourth performance, on April 27, will be held al fresco beginning at 2 p.m. at Pian del Pino, the Renaissance Italian home and gardens of Margaret and Price Zimmermann on the outskirts of Davidson. 

The performances are being presented by students in this semester’s Radio Shakespeare seminar taught by Dana Professor of English Cynthia Lewis. The ten actors appearing in the two-hour show will have studied, discussed and applied historical and critical literature concerning Shakespeare’s famous characters.

In the play, the Venetian merchant Antonio finances his friend Bassanio’s trip to Belmont by borrowing from the Jewish money-lender Shylock, who demands a pound of his flesh as collateral.  In Belmont, Bassanio wins the hand of the fair Portia through choosing the correct casket from gold, silver, and lead. When Antonio’s bond becomes forfeit, Shylock demands his pound of flesh.  Bassanio returns to Venice in hopes of saving Antonio’s life, but Portia, disguised as a male judge, becomes his friend’s only hope. 

Program Audio: Radio Shakespeare: The Merchant of Venice

The Merchant of Venice Full Text


Antonio / Balthazar – Chris Blanchard ‘14
Bassanio – Jacob Fanning ‘14
Shylock – Alex Baggott ‘16
Lorenzo / Arragon – Noah Driver ‘16
Lancelot / Duke of Venice / Salerio – Ellyson Glance ‘16
Gratiano / Morocco – Jessica Albano ‘15
Portia – Christine Noah ‘14
Nerissa / Solanio / Leonardo – Katherine Silva ‘14
Jessica / Messenger – Katie Wilkes ‘14
Old Gobbo / Tubal / Portia’s serving man / Stefano – Mary Catherine Clark ‘14

 "[The Merchant of Venice is] one of the better choices among Shakespeare's plays for radio performance because, although it's technically defined as a comedy, it doesn't have much in the way of sight gags, so you don't miss the visual humor that you would in some of the other plays. The play is full of passion, however, which seem[s] ideal for the radio."
Dr. Cynthia Lewis, Instructor of Radio Shakespeare

View Rehearsal Photos



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