Photo Flash: First Look at THE MERCHANT OF VENICE at Actors' NET

William Shakespeare's masterwork The Merchant of Venice - one of the Bard's most popular yet trickiest plays - will be interpreted and illuminaTed May 31 - June 16 on the intimate Heritage Center stage. BroadwayWorld has a first look at the cast in action below!

Veteran actor George Hartpence - with the title roles of Hamlet, Macbeth and Richard III under his belt - tackles the challenging role of Shylock. "Back in Shakespeare's time and well into the 18th century, Shylock was often portrayed as a caricature: a demanding, farcical Jewish rogue lusting for money and revenge. Over time, the depth of the money-lender's character, so brilliantly underscored in the renowned 'Hath not a Jew eyes?' speech, proved irresistible to serious actors who saw in it a chance to tackle anti-Semitism head-on."

Kyla Mostello Donnelly of Levittown co-stars as Portia, whose "quality of mercy" speech ranks among Shakespeare's best - known. Brian Jason Kelly of Doylestown is Bassanio, Portia's love interest. Aaron Wexler of Philadelphia and Cat Miller of Bristol play lovers Gratiano and Nerissa. John Helmke of Hamilton, NJ and Amanda Hecht of Levittown portray lovers Lorenzo and Jessica.

Rounding out the cast are Michael Wurzel of Little Silver, NJ; John Wishnie of Morrisville; Mark Swift of Hamilton, NJ; Marco Newton of Yardley; Rob Norman of New Hope; Mort Paterson of Philadelphia; Darryl Thompson of Collingswood, NJ; Jim Cordingley of Lawrenceville, NJ; and Julia Mitchell of Yardley.

Kathleen Landes of Doylestown stage manages. Lighting designer Andrena Wishnie of Morrisville illuminates the set designed by George Hartpence. Costume and sound design are by Artistic Director Cheryl Doyle.

The Merchant of Venice performs at the Heritage Center, 635 N. Delmorr Avenue (Route 32), Morrisville, PA. Show times are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults, $17 for seniors and $10 for children age 12 and under. To reserve, reservations, call 215-295-3694 or email On-line tickets can be purchased via

The NET'S website is Social networking: Facebook page - "ActorsNET, AKA Actors' NET of Bucks County" and Twitter name @actorsnet.

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George Hartpence and DeLarme Lande

Kyla Mostello Donnelly and George Hartpence

Kyla Mostello Donnelly, Mort Paterson and George Hartpence

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