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Habimah Invitation to Shakespeare Producer Stirs Discussion in Canada

The Habimah Theatre of Israel has invited Dr. Tyrone Guthrie, producer of the “Merchant of Venice” and other Shakespearean plays at Stratford, Ontario, to come to Israel to produce the “Merchant of Venice.”

The invitation has provoked discussion here since there is a sharp division of opinion among critics in the United States and Canada on the Stratford group’s performance of the “Merchant of Venice.” The controversy rages about the character of Shylock, with some American and Canadian critics welcoming the play as one about anti-Semitism and lack of Christian charity in Renaissance Italy while equally well known critics deplore the staging of the play which they characterize as an anti-Semitic tract.