Recently Closed: Classical Theatre Debuts with SHYLOCK:The Jew of Venice

September 26 -October 5th

Focused Storyline Builds Shylock’s Venice out of the Detritus of Auschwitz-Birkenau

Houston, TX – The Classical Theatre Company (CTC) opens its inaugural 2008-2009 Season with Shylock, The Jew of Venice, an original adaptation of William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. Adapted and directed by CTC Artistic Director John Johnston, Shylock makes its regional debut at..

at the Midtown Arts Center and runs September 26 – October 5.

“This play uses only Shakespeare’s words, and we want the audience to leave with a better understanding, and thus a new appreciation, for what Shakespeare wrote,” commended Johnston. “The play is not “set” in the Holocaust, but rather it is performed in the Holocaust by two actors who are prisoners in a concentration camp. And while the antagonist of Shakespeare’s play is Jewish, he is a fully-developed character who merely follows the letter of the law.

In the end, his passion overrules his judgment; but in Shylock, the prisoners turn a storyline that could be interpreted as anti-Semitic to their own advantage, using the power of Shakespeare’s words in new and powerful ways.”

Shylock takes place in a sorting room in the death camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau in July of 1944. It was originally produced in September of 2005 at the Greenbelt Arts Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, where Eli Flam of the Greenbelt News Review praised the production for “holding a disjunctive mirror up to life,” and taking “cogent, questing steps…to show that the human spirit can win out over terrible adversity.”

Shylock, The Jew of Venice
Adapted from William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice by Lara Haberberger, John Johnston, Laley Lippard, and Sammy Wegent.

DIRECTOR:John Johnston

CAST: Thomas Prior
David Wald

PRODUCTION: Scenic Design Thomas Donahue
Lighting Design John Johnston
Sound Design Christopher Harding
Costume Design Bree Welch
Properties Design John Johnston
Production Stage Manager Abbie Falk
Assistant Stage Manager Larry Hunt
Assistant Director Julia Traber
Technical Director Trey Otis
Dramaturg Martine Kei Green


Thursday September 25 @ 7:30 PREVIEW
Friday September 26 @ 7:30 OPENING
Saturday September 27 @ 7:30
Sunday September 28 @ 2:30 &7:30

Wednesday October 1 @ 7:30
Thursday October 2 @ 7:30
Friday October 3 @ 7:30
Saturday October 4 @ 7:30
Sunday October 5 @ 2:30 & 7:30

General Admission $15

Youth/Students: $7 (25 and under with Student ID)
Theatre Industry Professionals: $7

BOX OFFICE: Online at
Through the CTC box office at 713-963-9665

Tickets can be purchased through the Classical Theatre Company website at, or by calling the CTC box office at 713-963-9665. Free post-show discussions follow Sunday matinee performances.

The Classical Theatre Company (CTC) is dedicated to being the preeminent producer of classical theatre in the nation, presenting the classical canon on the stage, in the community, and in the classroom in an engaging, visceral, and visually spectacular way. Founded by Houston actor and artistic director John Johnston, the CTC “looks to indelibly change the Houston arts community, and strives to be a cultural force in the region for years to come.” The theatre’s business plan includes a new theatre facility in the downtown Houston area, a resident acting company, and extensive education and community outreach programs. Eva De La Cruz is the theatre’s managing director.