June 15, 2023
640 Orange Ave.
Coronado, CA 92118
Theatre Dybbuk Performance Art: "The Villainy You Teach"
Thursday, June 15, 2023
The character of Shylock in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice has long been a source of debate. Some have argued that his is an antisemitic portrait with long-lasting effects on the perception of Jews in our world, while others have stated that the character is a nuanced portrayal that, especially given the time and place of his creation, is empathetic to his plight. Often, at the center of this debate is found a speech in which Shylock proclaims his humanity while defending his vengeful desires.
In The Villainy You Teach, Theatre Dybbuk explodes this famous speech and, through the use of heightened theatricality and repetition, investigates the ways in which language can both take on a wide variety of meanings and lose all meaning through persistent examination and exposure.
The audience is invited to witness an actor perform this brief speech repeatedly over the course of most of the length of the play, reciting it dozens, if not hundreds, of times. This action is accompanied by a simultaneous performed reading of The Merchant of Venice in its entirety – its words acting as the container within which Shylock's speech exists. Audience members can stay in the space for the duration of the (approximately) 2.5 hour installation-style performance or they can come and go, engaging with the event in the manner that they choose.