Thu, Jul 07|
Merchants of Venice | Written and Directed by Darius V. Daughtry
Black Culture and generational struggles to thrive in post Depression Florida replace The Bard's 17th Italian century saga.
Time & Location
Jul 07, 2022, 7:00 PM – Jul 10, 2022, 10:30 PM
Fort Lauderdale, 1409 NW 6th St, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311, USA
About the event
Merchants of Venice subverts the Shakespearean plot of religious, race and class tensions in 17th century Venice to explore a Black Renaissance in 20th century post Depression Miami and Fort Lauderdale. Written and directed by Fort Lauderdale based artist, Darius V. Daughtry, the first chapter of 'Merchants' opens July 7 at the new Victory Black Box Theatre in the historic Sistrunk Corridor on the site of the first African American hospital in the region.
Shylock, the elder scion of the community, has agreed to lend money backed by real estate collateral to support the young protagonist Antonio's friend, Bass, who's opening a club with his love interest, Portia, a successful cafe owner, while their friend Lorenzo's liaison with Jessica, Shylock's daughter, has drawn him into trouble that erupts just as Portia and her pal, Nerissa, seem to have averted the loan payoff costing Antonio and Bass' dreams. Based on the real lives of merchants establishing the theaters, clubs, cafes, beauty and drama schools, tailor and retail shops of 1930-40's 'Color Towns,' this production captures the spirit of black innovation deployed to thrive during the Depression despite the rise of Jim Crow laws.
Darius V. Daughtry, writer, director, educator, and Founder/Artistic Director of Art Prevails Project, adapted the script and directs Merchants.
Award-winning Brooklyn based Fashion Designer Taofeek Abijako (Head of State) and Miami Fashion Institute's Asanyah Davidson (Miami Dade College) reimagine the dress of the era. Cloaks evoke the classical and contemporary twists of the production and the superhero strength of the real people who established Overtown and Sistrunk communities.
Past Manager of the historic Hampton House and Artist, Imani Warren, uncovered fascinating information about the individuals who founded drama schools, beauty empires, theaters, clubs, and hospitality venues. Overlooked in the past, these real people gain appreciation in Merchants.
Merchants of Venice Cast:
Douglas “Xaire” Goodridge - The Narrator and Lorenzo
David Hepburn - Antonio
Yamille Mercedes - Nerissa
Denzel McCausland - Bassanio
Marlo Rodriguez - Portia
Ayomi Russell - Jessica
Kent Chambers-Wilson - Shylock
Peter Galman Shakespearean Coach and Assistant Director
Artist Adler Guerrier is creating a sculptured shelf of memories for the stage.