First Folio Theatre is competing for a grant from Chase Community Giving for a really interesting project it's working on for the coming summer. (Just about now you're ready to think about summer's coming, aren't you?) The company will supplement its own production of The Merchant of Venice, and the celebration of its 15th anniversary, with a broader set of programs over six weeks entitled The Merchant Project.
The project includes staged readings of a number of variations and comments on Merchant, including the National Jewish Theatre's staging of Shylock and His Daughter by Maurice Schwartz; Teatro Vista's The Merchant of Santa Fe by Ramon Flores and Lynn Butler; Signal Ensemble doing The Jew of Malta by Christopher Marlowe; and a reprise reading of the acclaimed Merchant on Venice by Shishir Kurup from Silk Road Rising (formerly Silk Road Theatre Project).
Naturally, such an ambitious project requires $$$$$, and First Folio hopes to separate Chase Community Giving from $25,000 for providing such a fine example of artistic collaboration. To do so requires persuading its supporters (and, presumably, those of its four collaborators) to flood--not to say stuff!--the ballot box in the remaining week of Facebook voting. (Voting closes November 22.)
It's all very well to be snobby and disapproving about popularity-contest charity, and about corporate marketing stunts masquerading as charity (and I am); but if you share my disdain for the process, just hold your nose while you vote to secure resources for a more-than-worthy cause (or five).