The Merchant Project
// William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum

The Merchant Project

The Merchant Project
Feb 05 2023 | 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

The Merchant Project


WHEN: FEB 5 | 2 pm
WHERE : 1440 Spring Street NE, Atlanta, GA, 30309
The Breman presents theatre dybbuk from Los Angeles, reading selections from the company's in-development The Merchant Project, which explores Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice. The production will have its world premiere in May 2023, so this is an opportunity to get an hour-long glimpse into the work as it is being created and to learn about the process behind it in a discussion with the creative team that follows.
What can a play from 16th-century England tell us about how antisemitism and other prejudicial beliefs operate in our world today? What perceived truths does a play reveal about the society in which it was created, and what ideas within that society does it reinforce?
From the core of a classic Shakespeare play, theatre dybbuk weaves in its unique blend of deep historical investigation and heightened theatricality to create a new work. The Merchant Project investigates questions related to the nature of "truth" as it exists both in the world and on the stage – as well as issues of identity, marginalization, assimilation and power throughout history and in our modern world.

Founded in 2011, Los Angeles-based theatre dybbuk creates provocative performances and innovative educational encounters that explore Jewish thought to illuminate the universal human experience. Conceived by artistic director Aaron Henne and developed with company artists, its projects are created through a process that takes up to three years. These productions incorporate lyrical language, stylized movement and visceral metaphors to create expressionistic, singularly theatrical experiences.

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theatre dybbuk’s presentation from The Merchant Project at the Breman Museum on Feb. 5 is part of a residency by the Los Angeles company in Atlanta running Jan. 31 to Feb. 5.

Another notable event from theatre dybbuk is a performed reading from a new theatrical work, breaking protocols, at 7 p.m. Jan. 31 at The Temple. The play poses questions including: Why do conspiracy theories arise and in what ways do they show up at times of great crisis and upheaval in society? And what are the motivations and forces underpinning their proliferation? breaking protocols uses the sometimes comic and heightened approaches of vaudeville to examine the quintessential antisemitic text, "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion," while illuminating contemporary issues connected to antisemitism, propaganda and false narratives.

The Temple event will include a 60-minute presentation of sections from the play, followed by a Q&A with the creative team. Free, but reservations are required: 

More on theatre dybbuk’s Atlanta residency here:

theatre dybbuk also will bring prayer and a theatrical element to The Temple's Shabbat Service at 6 p.m. Feb. 3. No reservation required.

More on theatre dybbuk’s Atlanta residency here:


WHAT IS A DYBBUK? In Jewish folklore, a dybbuk is a wandering spirit that possesses the body of a living person. In early biblical and Talmudic accounts they are called "ruchim," which means "spirits" in Hebrew.  A 1914 play by S. Ansky, The Dybbuk, tells the story of a young bride possessed by a dybbuk. It is considered a seminal play in the history of Jewish theater.


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