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Shakespeare company giving weekly performances in Lander

Jul 8, 2013 - By Andrea Novotny, Staff Writer

The Wyoming Shakespeare Company, which is based in Lander, will perform "The Merchant of Venice" this summer in the county and throughout the state.

"The Merchant of Venice" tells the story of Bassanio, a young Venetian of noble rank, who wishes to woo Portia of Belmont. Having squandered his estate, Bassanio asks his friend Antonio for the money to travel to Belmont. Antonio's wealth is tied up abroad, but he agrees to use his own credit to obtain a loan from the Jewish moneylender, Shylock.

Shylock bears an "ancient grudge" toward Antonio, but agrees to the loan on the condition that Antonio offer a pound of his own flesh as bond.

Through Bassanio's pursuit of Portia, Portia's unusual pursuit of a suitor, and Shylock's pursuit of justice, the play conveys several messages that director Diane Springford said will resonate with a modern audience.

"The commercial climate described in 'The Merchant of Venice' is even more developed today," she said. "What we make and what we lose are integral to even the most intimate human relationships."

The troupe's production is given a contemporary touch with music by Van Morrison.

This is the Wyoming Shakespeare Company's 14th year.

The company will perform at 6 p.m. every Tuesday in July at Lander City Park and at 7 p.m. July 25 at the Dennison Lodge in Dubois.

The group also will perform in Gillette, Torrington, Cheyenne, Pinedale, Rock Springs and Casper this summer.

Funding for the Wyoming Shakespeare Company comes through grants and donations. The company is sponsored in part by the Wyoming Arts Council through funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and the Wyoming State Legislature.

All shows are free and open to the public.

For more information, call 332-2905.

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