“Ariel’s fourth production with the Teen Troupe was The Merchant of Venice. In this difficult play, Ariel took on Shylock, a role considered to be one of the greatest and most difficult in the whole Shakespearean canon. She approached the project with curiosity, passion, and attention to detail.
Often considered to be somewhat of a villain, Ariel was determined to show the humanity of the character. She captured Shylock’s pain, humiliation, profound loss, and shame that finally turns into rage and unwavering desire for revenge. It was a huge challenge, and Ariel blew audiences away. I remember seeing mouths gaped open, and hearing audible gasps from the crowd. Friends of mine who came to see the show could not stop asking me about her. ‘Is she really a high-schooler? WOW!’
All the while, Ariel remained the most supportive, caring, welcoming member of the cast. On day one, she said to the new members of the group, ‘We are so glad you are here. Please don’t be nervous or afraid of us. We already love you and are so happy that you’ve joined our family.’”
Photography by Melanie Eve Barocas