Quintessence Theatre Group launches its second season with two classic comedies: Carlo Goldoni's THE VENETIAN TWINS, in a translation by Ranjit Bolt, and William Shakespeare's THE MERCHANT OF VENICE, to be presented in repertory and directed by Alexander Burns. THE VENETIAN TWINS will start previews tonight at 7pm and open on Saturday, October 8th at 8pm. THE MERCHANT OF VENICE will start previews on Wednesday October 12th and open on Friday, October 21st at 8pm. Performances are Wednesday, October 5th through Sunday, November 20th at the Sedgwick Theater, 7137 Germantown Ave in Mt. Airy, Philadelphia, 19119. To purchase tickets, visit www.QuintessenceTheatre.org or call 1.877.238.5596.


Separated in childhood, two Venetian twins unexpectedly arrive in Verona looking for love. Mistaken identities and madness ensue. Stolen jewels, lover's duels and a death by poison fuel Carlo Goldoni's 1748 comic masterpiece. Following the success of A Servant of Two Masters, Goldoni was determined to cement his place as Italy's greatest comic playwright. Influenced by Molière and inspired by the famous twin comedies of Plautus and Shakespeare, Goldoni reformed commedia dell'arte by removing the masks and introducing psychological realism and social commentary. Quintessence is excited to present one of the stage's funniest comedies using Ranjit Bolt's contemporary English translation.


A game involving three caskets will decide which suitor marries the beautiful heiress Portia. The fate of three merchant ships will ensure the Christian merchant Antonio's fortune. And three thousand ducats borrowed from Shylock, a rich Jewish merchant, to allow Bassanio a chance to win Portia will cost Antonio his life if the bond is forfeit. Shakespeare's timeless and complex romantic comedy challenges the power of faith, the power of money and the power of love, and asks what role mercy and justice play in mitigating these forces. Quintessence will continue its raw, bold, actor based productions of Shakespeare with THE MERCHANT OF VENICE, exposing the humanity and humor in one of Shakespeare's most modern and challenging plays.

Quintessence is proud to announce that Benim Foster* and J Center* will make their Quintessence debuts as part of the Venetian Repertory with Mr. Foster portraying Shylock and Pancrazio, and Mr. Center as the Duke, Old Gobo and Doctor Balanzoni. Josh Carpenter*, who played the titular role in Quintessence's Henry V and Algernon Moncrieff in The Importance of Being Earnest will play the Venetian twins and Antonio. Jessica Dal Canton, who played Dona Elvira in Quintessence's Don Juan, will portray Portia and Beatrice. Sean Bradley (Quintessence's Measure For Measure and The Apology) returns as Bassanio and the servant Brighella. Khris Davis (Henry V) rejoins Quintessence as Lorenzo and Arlecchino.

Quintessence Theatre Group is Philadelphia's new professional classical theatre company, dedicated to the performance and adaptation of epic works of classic drama and literature for the Contemporary Stage. Rooted in the traditions of classical drama, we explore what is essential in theatre and human nature, igniting the mind of artists and audiences through the power of the live actor, design and the spoken word.

Over the next five years Quintessence Theatre Group will work to establish an acting ensemble and a rotating repertory at the historic Sedgwick Theater in Mt. Airy, Philadelphia. The Venetian Repertory marks Quintessence's first demonstration of the power of a repertory ensemble. Quintessence Theatre Group will continue its residency at the historic Sedgwick Theater, playing a central role in the renaissance of main street Mt. Airy, a thriving and diverse neighborhood located in northwest Philadelphia.

The repertory ensemble features Sean Bradley, Josh Carpenter*, J Center*, Sean Close, Jessica Dal Canton, Bethany Ditnes, Khris Davis, Daniel Fredrick, Benim Foster*, Alex Harvey, Leslie Nevon Holden and Ken Sandberg.

THE VENETIAN TWINS plays October 5th - November 19th. A special PAY WHAT YOU CAN preview will take place on Wednesday October 5th at 7:00pm. A discussion on Goldoni and Commedia will take place with director Alexander Burns before the show on Thursday, October 27th. A discussion with the cast will take place after the show on Wednesday, November 9th.

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