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Ophelia's Jump Presents A WILDERNESS OF MONKEYS

Performances begin March 17.

Ophelia's Jump Presents A WILDERNESS OF MONKEYS

Ophelia's Jump presents A Wilderness of Monkeys, a world premiere engagement of a new comedy. Written by Carol Fisher Sorgenfrei. Directed by Beatrice Casagran.

This is a virtual presentation, via Zoom (because of the ongoing pandemic). Running March 17- March 21, 2021. Tickets available at http://opheliasjump.org. Registrants will be sent a Zoom link.

Carol Fisher Sorgenfrei describes her new play as "a revenge-comedy sequel" to Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice.

At the end of Shakespeare's narrative, the merchant Antonio has successfully conspired with his friends Bassanio and Lorenzo to deprive the despised Jewish moneylender Shylock not only of his material goods but his beloved daughter Jessica. To inflict a further indignity upon the hated Jew, the court of Venice rules that he is to be converted to Christianity, which he must do in order to save his own life.

In Fisher Sorgenfrei's play, Jessica, disillusioned with her mate Lorenzo, returns to her father's house, sadder, wiser and remorseful. She and Shylock plot a scheme of revenge upon her father's Gentile tormentors. Antonio the merchant will be in for the biggest surprise of all.

Ophelia's Jump is the producing company. A non-profit company founded nine years ago, it is based in Upland and performs in Claremont and Upland. Each July, it presents the Midsummer Shakespeare Festival at the Sontag Greek Theatre on the campus of Pomona College in Claremont. Ophelia's Jump (OJP) believes that "the purpose of theatre is to create unending conversations, spark imagination, incite conscience, and elicit a visceral response. OJP aims to invigorate the creativity and intellect of our community by working with local and regional artists to tell compelling stories and educate new generations of theatre lovers."

Beatrice Casagran directs. She is the Artistic Director and co-founder of Ophelia's Jump.She holds a Master's Degree in Theatre from CSUSB, a Juris Doctor from UCLA School of Law, and a BA in Political Studies from Pitzer College. The Cuban-American director/actor/designer has won awards from the Inland Theatre League. In 2019, she was honored as a Woman of Distinction by Assemblymember Chris Holden. She is a member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers and serves as the Vice President of the Theatrical Producers League of Los Angeles.

Carol Fisher Sorgenfrei is the playwright. An alumna of Pomona College, she received her doctorate in playwriting from UC Santa Barbara. She is a Professor Emerita of UCLA, where she was a faculty member for 31 years. Recognized as a leading scholar of Asian theatre studies, her sixteen plays sometimes fuse Asian and Western elements. Her previous plays include The Impostor; Blood Wine, Blood Wedding; Fireplay:The Legend of Prometheus; Medea: A Noh Cycle Based on Greek Myth; and more.

The cast of A Wilderness of Monkeys includes (in alphabetical order) R.J. Balde, Judd Johnson, Black McCormack, Aaron Pyle, Jessie Pyle, Julia Stier and Amanda Zarr.

Visual designer: Sheila Malone. Editor: Spencer Weitzel. Graphic design: Caitlin Lopez. Props and costumes: Carmen Miralles.

At a moment in our history when we are engaging in intensive cultural re-examinations, the time is right to re-visit these Shakespearean characters.

The title, A Wilderness of Monkeys? That comes from Shakespeare, specifically Act III of The Merchant of Venice.


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