Ruth Bader Ginsburg Will Make a Cameo in Shakespeare's 'The Merchant of Venice'
Ruth Bader Ginsburg is known for her love of the opera—but beneath her black robes also beats the heart of a thespian. According to ABC News, the trailblazing Supreme Court Justice will flex her acting skills in a production of Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice this July.
The show will be held in Venice's Jewish ghetto to commemorate its 500th anniversary. Compagnia de’ Colombari, an international performing artist collective, and Ca’Foscari University of Venice will stage the Shakespearean drama in English, The Dallas Morning News reports. Not surprisingly, Ginsburg will play the judge presiding over the trial of Shylock, the Venetian Jewish moneylender who demands a pound of flesh from a merchant, Antonio, when he defaults on a large loan.
According to event organizers, productions of The Merchant of Venice will be held in Venice from July 26-31. Ginsburg will make her cameo on July 27, when "the main characters of the play will be at the center of a mock trial … presided by Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Shylock, Antonio, [and] Portia will be represented by famous international lawyers. The legal implications of a famously controversial play will be unfolded in a ‘show within a show,'" the play's website states.
Ginsburg is no stranger to the theater. In 2014 she participated in a production of Our War, a series of monologues about the Civil War, to mark the conflict’s 150th anniversary. The show was held at the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., and featured other prominent Beltway residents including MSNBC’s Chris Matthews and Washington, D.C. Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton. Ginsburg has also served as a super, or extra, at the Washington National Opera, and has made brief appearances in other Shakespeare productions.
“I’ve been on stage at the Shakespeare Theatre a few times,” Ginsburg told Politico in 2014. “The Shakespeare Theatre, some years back, had a tradition of inviting Supreme Court justices to come for just one night, and I was onstage at the Shakespeare Theatre in Henry VI. I had Dick the butcher’s part, with the famous line, 'First thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.' And then I asked if I could ad-lib an addition, I checked this out in advance, and the addition was, 'and next the reporters.'"
Sounds like Ginsburg is ready for her spotlight.
[h/t ABC News]