Shakespeare's 'Merchant of Venice' opening Feb. 23 at UA


Rosilyn Jentner is Portia and Dean Coutris is Bassanio in The University of Akron cast of "The Merchant of Venice."

"The Merchant of Venice" by William Shakespeare opens Feb. 23 at The University of Akron's (UA) Sandefur Theatre in Guzzetta Hall.

Presented by the UA Theatre Program and directed by part-time faculty member Aubrey Caldwell, performances are Feb. 23-25 and March 1-3 at 8 p.m. and Feb. 26 at 2 p.m. Talk-backs will follow the performances on Feb. 23 and March 1. Sandefur Theatre in Guzzetta Hall is at 157 University Ave., across from E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall on the UA campus.

Tickets are $12 general admission; $10 for seniors and UA faculty, staff and alumni; and $6 for students. Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. For more information, call 330-972-7895 or visit the School of Dance, Theatre, and Arts Administration.

One of Shakespeare's tragi-comedies, The Merchant of Venice tells the tale of the merchant Antonio who funds the quest of his friend Bassanio to win the heart of Portia by taking a loan from his longtime enemy, Shylock. Should Antonio fail to pay, Shylock will take a pound of his flesh. The tale features the Bard's classic themes of romance and mistaken identities while also painting a picture of the politics, gender roles and anti-Semitism of the Elizabethan era.

The cast features Alex Funk of Akron as the merchant Antonio, Chris Bizhub of Cleveland as Shylock, Rosilyn Jentner of Akron as Portia, and Dean Coutris of Canton (formerly of Youngstown) as the lovestruck Bassanio. Also in the cast: Jovanna Bukvic-Jo, Dave Cranston, Samantha Ost, Bobby Round, Benjamin P. Smith, Caleb Snyder and Travis Williams.

Akron area audiences know Caldwell as a company member at Actors’ Summit Theater and an instructor at Weathervane Playhouse.

Media contact: Cyndee Snider, 330-972-5196 or