“If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us shall we not revenge?” These memorable lines are spoken by Shylock in The Merchant of Venice, one of Shakespeare’s most popular and controversial plays portraying a tale woven with themes of hatred, love, revenge, and betrayal. Today, these lines are seen as a reminder for tolerance in an often intolerant world.
Polly Jones, English Department Chair, is excited for the energy the performance is creating and its role in supporting the upper school curriculum. Jones says, “The play was chosen because it is one of Shakespeare’s most popular. While all Shakespearean plays are challenging for modern actors, this one is more accessible to student groups because it has no clear “lead”, so responsibility for lines and scenes is more equally shared among several key characters. There are many young people among the key characters, so having high school students perform the roles is more natural. And while the play does address the serious theme of discrimination against a minority group, in this case, the Jews of Venice, it is technically a comedy.”
North Cross School students and faculty will perform The Merchant of Venice on Friday, January 25, and Saturday, January 26 at 7:30 PM in North Cross School’s Fishburn Auditorium. Admission to the public is free of charge.
About North Cross School
North Cross School is a college-preparatory day school grounded in a strong liberal arts and science curriculum combined with exceptional co-curricular programs. The academic program, from junior kindergarten through twelfth grade, prepares students to become responsible, successful citizens by encouraging them to explore their interests and develop their talents. The School is located at 4254 Colonial Avenue, Roanoke, VA, 24018. For more information, visit www.northcross.org.
Submitted by Whitney Campbell