Ruth Bader Ginsburg Is Taking Her Talents To The Stage

The Notorious RBG will appear in a special production of "The Merchant of Venice."

To dispel any possible doubts about her talents, the Notorious RBG, sometimes known as Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, is adding actress to her long list of accomplishments.

Ginsburg will make a small appearance in a special production of William Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice."

The performance of the famed Shakespearean tragicomedy, scheduled for this summer in Venice, is part of the 500th anniversary of the city's Jewish ghetto, according to the Washington Post.

The play portrays a relevant part of the ghetto's history. The antagonist Shylock, a Jewish moneylender in 16th-century Venice, demands "a pound of flesh" from Antonio, a rich Venetian merchant. Shylock's character arc centers on his desire to exact revenge for the rampant anti-Semitism he faces.

According to the production's organizers, Ginsburg will play a judge presiding over his trial, one of the play's most memorable scenes. In addition, the major characters will be represented by "famous international lawyers."

A noted patron of the arts, the Supreme Court justice and liberal icon can frequently be found at theater and opera performances. Last year, she served as a guest DJ on a Chicago classical music station, sharing excerpts from her favorite pieces.

Her upcoming performance is not even her acting debut. In 2014, she recited a monologue written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Lindsay-Abaire, as part of a series of Civil War-themed monologues read by "notable Washingtonians." She once quipped that “if I had any talent in the world, any talent that God could give me, I would be a great diva.” 

Ginsburg often enjoys fusing her professional and personal interests. Several times over the last few years, she has presented a program called "Opera and the Law," selecting scenes from the world of opera that depict different aspects of the legal profession.

In Shakespeare's original play, it is the Duke of Venice who administers justice in Shylock's trial -- though clearly, this new production can make an exception for the Notorious RBG, since she is, well, an actual judge.



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