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    The Jubilee Singers. (1875). Image courtesy of the New York Public Library.
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Merchant Of Venice

As published in the Nashville Globe
1 Mar 1907

The Merchant of Venice was presented at Fisk Memorial Chapel, by the Junior College Class last Friday, February 22.

The cast was as follows:
The Duke of Venice — M.V. Boutte
Antonio — James A. Myers
Bassanio — William A. Macintyre
Salario — Halcombe S. Crosthwait
Salarino — Benjamin F. Murphy
Gratiano — St. Elmo Brady
Lorenzo — James G. Browne
Shylock — Charles Campbell
Tubal — William B. Merrill
Lancelot Gobbo — Alfred G. King
Gobbo – Jack S. Binboy
Leonardo — Howard W. Warner
Balthazar — W. Sylvester White
Portia — Beatrice S. Flanders
Norissa — Lillian E. Cashin
Jessica — Gertrude L. Glenn

The chapel was filled with an attentive and appreciative audience. From the beginning to the end of the play the characters were stimulated by the attitude of their hearers. the personnel of the class, and the training given by Miss Green; the teacher of elocution, made anything but success impossible. Although some of the characters had few words to say, they were well said.

As friends to Antonio and Bassanio, Bardy as Gratiano, Murphy as Salarino, and Crosthwait as Solanio, sustained their characters well.

Boutte, as the Duke of Venice, was the impersonation of courtly grace. Brown, as Lorenzo, played the part of the successful lover admirably. As old Gobbio, Brayboy could scarely [sic] be surpassed.

While Miss Cashin, as Nerissa, charmed the audience with her dainty coyness. She showed herself a strategist of no mean degree. Miss Glenn, in the role of Jessica commanded the sympathy of all as she described her position in Shylock’s family, and their admiration for the way in which she got out of it.

The faithful Hebrew friend was well represented by Merrill, while White as Balthazar and Warner as Leonardo, were trustworthy helpers of Portin and Bassanio.

The character of Shylock is one that is usually held up as a model of avarice and cruelty, yet as one listened to Campbell’s outburst of pent up feeling in his first talk with Antonio and in his subsequent talk with Salanio and Salarino, he was compelled to see as the Jew saw, and feel as the Jew felt. The audience showed its appreciation of his efforts in the stillness which pervaded the house during his speeches, and the hearty applause which followed them.

Miss Flanders, as Portia, the lover of Poria, the judge, was thoroughly enjoyable. In the court scene, and where Bassanio made his choice of the caskets, her rendition of the two parts showed her fine interpretation of the different characters.

As the devoted friend or lover, McIntyre as Bassanio posed equally as well. Possessed of a deep, rich voice, knowing well how to use it, he was intently followed in his love passages and in his words of cheer and comfort to his friend Antonio.

The experience of Antonio with the Jew was well set forth by Myers. As the generous friend, the pleading debtor, or the unfortunate one resigned to his fate, he was able to represent each character in his own inimitable way.

The members of the class have worked long and faithfully, and success crowned their efforts. The proceeds of the entertainment will go to the library which Fisk hopes to have in the near future.

{related post — see what happened to the cast members]

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  1. Visiting Fisk « Black Nashville Genealogy & History
  2. Merchant Of Venice Cast Members « Black Nashville Genealogy & History

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