Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Merchant of Venice

As a part of the youth program at my church, Young Women leaders are encouraged to pass off Personal Progress experiences at the same time as the girls. Personal Progress is comprised of spiritual and intellectual experiences and projects. Under the Knowledge category, one the the experiences was to attend a live performance of dance or music. I started checking out the Hale Theater and Abrevanel Hall for opera, ballet, musicals, and symphony, but as we are no longer students, the prices were a little steep. John reminded me that Brigham Young University has a wonderful arts program, so we ended up purchasing tickets for two performances because they were so reasonably priced.

Performance one was The Merchant of Venice. We learned too late that it was actually a version aimed at introducing Shakespeare to children. At first I was a bit disappointed about that, but it turned out that it was perfect! People were invited to sit on the ground as the actors weaved in and out of the audience. The original Shakespearean language of the play was still used, they just shortened some of the acts (perfect for John who gets antsy at long performances). They also invited children to play side roles in the play. They really made the show! The little girl and boy who played Nerissa and Gratiano were adorable! They were the perfect combination of reluctant and enthusiastic.

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