This is Venice (Othello & The Merchant of Venice)
All hell has broken loose on the Rialto. Intrigues are being woven, marriages sealed and deals done. In the great carnival of power, money and commercial advantage, a flawed patriarchal system, based on the suppression of women and the structural exclusion of minorities, has gained the upper hand in Venice. The Law of the Fathers holds sway – and whoever is not white, Venetian and Christian is ostracised. This is how the money and war machine that is Venice stabilises itself and survives one crisis after the other. What’s more: in spite of its crumbling core, it expands its wealth and power. In the impending war against the Turks, who are threatening the colonial empire, all of Venice wants to prove itself.
Cultural scientist Elisabeth Bronfen, stage designer Muriel Gerstner and director Sebastian Nübling have merged William Shakespeare’s two great Venetian plays into a single dramatic world. What happens when war is averted and the violence turns inward? And how would things turn out if, in this Venice, the women – Desdemona, Emilia, Bianca, Portia, Nerissa and Jessica – had the last word?