Photo by PoPville flickr user Brandon Kopp
From a press release:
“Folger Shakespeare Library will host the CrossTalk DC Kick-Off Forum on Sunday, May 15. CrossTalk DC is a community engagement initiative to bring disparate publics together to think about race and religion thoughtfully and deeply, through the lens of literature and history. More than 14 CrossTalk DC conversations and forums will happen across the District between May and October.
Two theater pieces will serve as the catalyst for conversation: The Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare’s brutal and still highly controversial play about prejudice, violence and materialism among Jewish and Christian characters written in 1596–97, and District Merchants, Aaron Posner’s re-imagining of Shakespeare’s characters as Jews and African-Americans living in 1870’s Washington, DC, and, later, Belmont, Massachusetts, which will receive its world premiere at Folger Theatre this June.
Forum participants will listen to actors read brief scenes from both plays, then have an open discussion about identity and differences. The conversation continues over light refreshments. To RSVP, go to http://www.folger.edu/eform/submit/crosstalk-forum.
WHAT: CrossTalk DC Kick-Off Forum
WHEN: Sunday, May 15, 2016, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., free admission
WHERE: Folger Shakespeare Library
201 East Capitol Street, SE, Washington DC 20003
WHO: Michael Witmore – Director, Folger Shakespeare Library
Caleen Jennings – Project Manager, CrossTalk DC; Playwright; and Professor, American University
Peggy O’Brien – Director of Education, Folger Shakespeare Library
Danielle Drakes – School Programs Manager, Folger Shakespeare Library
Actors, District Merchants”