District Merchants by Aaron Posner

Audition Notice

For MainStage Production of

District Merchants

By Aaron Posner


Directed by Leigh Taylor

Time:  Friday, May 10 at 6:30pm and Saturday, May 11 at 2:00pm. Added: Thursday, May 16 at 6:30 pm

To arrange alternate audition time or for questions, text Leigh Taylor at 574 220-4765

Place:    Acting Ensemble on the Avenue, 602 E Mishawaka Ave, Mishawaka IN 46545

Auditions will consist of cold readings from sides provided by the director.

Rehearsals: . Please arrive at the audition knowing your conflicts.

Performance dates: 7/26, 7/27, 7/28, 8/1, 8/2, 8/3, and 8/4, 2024


FINNEUS (FINN) RANDALL.  A bold, charming, unscrupulous, enthusiastic, curious and highly susceptible Irish rascal. Big-hearted, too. 20’s or 30’s.

PORTIA. Wickedly smart, witty, shrewd, passionate, jaded, law-obsessed; a very, very wealthy and privileged white woman. 20’s or 30’s.

NESSA. Portia’s servant and friend. Quick-witted, sharp-tongued, insightful and radically honest. African American. 20’s or 30’s.

LANCELOT. Shylock’s servant. Curious, confused, erudite, funny, hopeful and heartfelt in word and deed. African American. 20’s or 30’s.

Genre: Comedy 

The Story: Love, loss, litigation, and predatory lending are examined in surprising ways in this uneasy comedy, which wades fearlessly into the endless complexities and contradictions of life in America. Set among the Black and Jewish populations of an imagined time and place that is simultaneously Shakespearean, Reconstruction-era Washington, D.C., and today, District Merchants is a remarkable tale of money, merchandise, and mercy brought to the stage by award-winning playwright and director Aaron Posner.

“District Merchants” explodes with layers of complexity… Posner has faced the most problematic aspect of Shakespeare’s play here full-on: he turns the question of anti-Semitism on its head, layering in the difficult relationships between two groups historically treated as ‘Other’ in America.” —DC Metro Theater Arts. 

“As efforts go in making Shakespeare’s thornier plays more digestible, its concerns more relevant to contemporary playgoers, you’d be hard pressed to find a more admirably intelligent reworking of The Merchant of Venice than playwright Aaron Posner’s “District Merchants”… Posner invokes a complex social dynamic of a sort Shakespeare could never have envisioned—that of the alternately symbiotic and tense relationship of American Blacks and Jews, and their separate, powerful claims to the story of oppression.” —Washington Post

Comments are closed.

  • Activities at the Acting Ensemble made possible, in part, with support from the Community Foundation of St. Joseph County's ArtsEverywhere initiative, The Indiana Arts Commission, which receives support from the State of Indiana and the National Endowment for the Arts, and The Harvey R. and Doris Klockow Foundation.