Elements Theatre Company Brings "Pound of Flesh" Touring Program to Chicago Feb. 15-23 in Conjunction with "Merchant of Venice" Performances

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Educational Touring Program Features Religious Leaders, Artists, and Scholars Discussing the Impact of Persecution and Bigotry on “The Other” as It Relates to Prejudice, Injustice and Assimilation

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Tony Award-winning actress Julie Harris said of Elements, "Experience this unique company for yourself. You will not be disappointed."

CHICAGO, IL – Elements Theatre Company of Orleans, Mass., a resident theater company under the direction of Sister Danielle Dwyer whose core mission is to educate and illuminate through the arts, brings its 2015 touring program to Chicago February 15-23. The company will present Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice in five performances at various venues throughout the city and lead related workshops, talk-backs and panel discussions on our culture’s view of “The Other.”View Photo Album

In the series, titled “A Pound of Flesh: Exploring Qualities of Mercy when Encountering the Other,” noted religious leaders, artists and scholars will examine the background and motivation of Shylock in The Merchant of Venice and consider the impact of his persecution on his own choices and on society at large. They will also consider this framework when discussing the greater implications of bigotry and persecution as they relate to prejudice, injustice, and assimilation. One key question is this: can an extreme response to being perceived as “The Other” be prevented by adopting the qualities of mercy in our behavior and culture?

Co-presenters of “A Pound of Flesh” are the Elaine and Zollie Frank Theater at the Mayer Kaplan Jewish Community Center; Chicago Theological Seminary; KAM Isaiah Israel Synagogue; Chicago Public Library; and Dominican University. Guest panelists and speakers are Rabbi Niles Goldstein, Center for Interfaith Engagement; Rev. Lillian Daniel, First Congregational Church of Glen Ellyn; Michael Shapiro, Loyola University; Rabbi Evan Moffic, Congregation Solel; Fr. Michael Sparough, SJ, Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House; Danielle Dwyer, CJ, Elements Theatre Company; Rabbi Fred Reeves, KAM Isaiah Israel Synagogue; and Manya Brachear Pashman, Chicago Tribune.

Tickets for the general public range from $20-$30. All programs are free for students. Tickets and a complete, updated calendar of events may be found at http://elements-events.org/. Tickets and reservations may also be purchased by calling the Elements Box Office at 800-319-7809.

About Elements Theatre Company
Elements Theatre Company, under the direction of Sister Danielle Dwyer, is a resident ensemble of sixteen artists dedicated to exploring the vitality of the written word and the deepest truths within the text. Through dramatic storytelling and imaginative stagecraft, Elements approaches both classic and modern works with honesty and authenticity. Founded in 1992, Elements Theatre Company is part of Gloriæ Dei Artes Foundation, a non-profit arts organization based in Orleans, Mass. Operating year-round, Elements performs three or four shows each year on Cape Cod in addition to touring extensively, presenting workshops and performing at conferences, schools and churches.

Tony Award-winning actress Julie Harris has said of Elements, “Experience this unique company for yourself. You will not be disappointed.”

About Elements’ Artistic Director, Danielle Dwyer, CJ
A founding member of Elements Theatre Company, Sister Danielle Dwyer has either directed or performed in nearly seventy productions since the company’s inception. Classically trained but also skilled in contemporary drama, Sr. Danielle earned her Master of Arts Degree from England’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and the University of London. She also studied voice, acting, and writing with Joanna Weir at Central School of Speech and Drama (London, England); David Male of Cambridge University (Cambridge, England); and Shakespeare & Company (Lenox, MA); and studied Shakespeare at the Stella Adler Studio in New York City.

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Jennifer Lynch
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