Lily Ja­niak’s pick

San Francisco Chronicle - - DATEBOOK - — Lily Ja­niak

If “the qual­ity of mercy is not strain’d,” as one of the most fa­mous speeches from “The Mer­chant of Venice” be­gins, Theater of Oth­ers prac­tices what it preaches in stag­ing Shake­speare’s play. All per­for­mances at the com­pany’s Ten­der­loin venue, the Kelly Cullen Com­mu­nity Au­di­to­rium, are pay-what-youwill. Direc­tor Glenn Havlan sets the show in a dark and not-too-dis­tant fu­ture, cast­ing African Amer­i­can ac­tors in the show’s Jewish roles “to re­fo­cus on the Jew as out­sider,” he says in a state­ment. “It’s not so much Chris­tians vs. Jews as the op­pres­sor vs. the op­pressed.”

Through April 2. Pay what you will. Kelly Cullen Com­mu­nity Au­di­to­rium, 220 Golden Gate Ave., S.F. www.brown­pa­pertick­

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