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Spring ArtsFest to explore anti-Semitism through theater, film

Author: Arts and Letters


Two theatrical performances and a film series will highlight a conference and arts festival titled “Shylock: A Heritage of Hate” from Feb. 22 to 25 (Wednesday to Saturday) at the University of Notre Dame.

Presented by Notre Dame’s Marie P. DeBartolo Center for the Performing Arts, the Spring ArtsFest will focus on the character Shylock, the Jewish money lender in William Shakespeare’s “Merchant of Venice,” to examine the persistence and effects of anti-Semitism in society.

  • International touring theater troupe Actors From The London Stage will present “The Merchant of Venice” Feb. 22, 24 and 25 (Wednesday, Friday and Saturday) in the Decio Mainstage Theatre of the performing arts center.

Based at Notre Dame, Actors From The London Stage has called the University its American home since 2000, when it relocated from the University of North Carolina. Its members hail from such prestigious theater companies as the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Royal National Theatre of Great Britain and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.

The troupe’s residency is sponsored by a grant from the Henkels Lecture Series with support from Notre Dame’s Department of Film, Television and Theatre, Office of the Provost, Department of English, College of Arts and Letters Shakespeare Initiative, and the performing arts center.

  • The one-man play “Shylock” will be presented in two performances Feb. 23 and 24 (Thursday and Friday). Written and performed by Gareth Armstrong of the Royal Shakespeare Company, the play uses the main character to examine anti-Semitism in Shakespeare’s day and in more recent times.
  • A number of films will be shown in the Browning Cinema from Feb. 22 to 24 (Thursday to Saturday), including Joseph Vilsmaier’s “The Harmonists,” Hugh Hudson’s “Chariots of Fire,” Marc Levin’s “Protocols of Zion,” Elia Kazan’s “Gentleman’s Agreement,” Aviva Kempner’s “The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg,” Woody Allen’s “Annie Hall,” and Barry Levinson’s “Liberty Heights.”

A complete schedule of events and ticket information are available at the center ticket office or by calling 574-631-2800 or visiting on the Web.

Contact: _Laura Moran, performing arts center, 574-631-2731, _

Originally published by Julie Flory &Laura Moran at on February 13, 2006.