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The Villainy You Teach
Thursday, March 2, 2023 | 7 pm PST
Hosted at the Philosophical Research Society
3910 Los Feliz Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027
Created by theatre dybbuk
Presented in collaboration with Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions and the Philosophical Research Society.
Link to tickets for the event
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.
Performed within the library of the Philosophical Research Society, audience members are 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 Merchant 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 performance or they can come and go, engaging with the event in the manner that they choose.
Complimentary refreshments will be available throughout the performance in the courtyard patio.