Lights up on a courtyard in London in the year 1605. Enter THE JEW dressed in a long black overcoat and carrying a satchel. He stoops a bit and slouches as he waits in the shadows. A distant clock strikes twelve times.
THE JEW: Midnight, and no sign of him. If he come not I will make it known that he is not a man of his word.
(A figure appears, moving cautiously out of the shadows at the opposite side of the stage. It is none other than William Shakespeare himself.)
THE JEW: (to himself) He comes. He sees me.
SHAKESPEARE: Is that you, Shylock? Are you there?
THE JEW: (stepping into the light) I am here. Come forward.
SHAKESPEARE: (crossing to stage center) Do you have it?
THE JEW: (holding up his satchel and giving it a pat) It is right here. Do you have the chinks?
SHAKESPEARE: (holding up a pouch) Every penny. (He moves a few steps closer) Let me see it.
THE JEW: Let me hear them.
(SHAKESPEARE gives the bag a shake and the coins jingle)
THE JEW: Ah, such sweet music.
(They make the exchange. SHAKESPEARE opens the stachel and looks inside. He puts in his hand and recoils.)
SHAKESPEARE: (his face screwed up with repugnance) Ugh! What’s this! The flesh of an animal?
THE JEW: Ha, ha. The human animal.
SHAKESPEARE: (Thrusting the disgusting matter back in the stachel and throwing it down) What’s the meaning of this? I said I wanted a pound of hash! Hashish! The kind you can smoke!
THE JEW: (defiantly) I thought you said a pound of flesh? I distinctly heard you say “a pound of flesh.”
SHAKESPEARE: (riled) I said nothing of the kind. I said a pound of hash. Give me my money back, you cheat, you swindler.
THE JEW: (cackles, turns, and rushes out) NEVER!
SHAKESPEARE: (as the lights fade) Serves me right for dealing with one of my own worst characters.
Causes Anthony Maulucci Supports
Greenpeace, Amnesty Inernational, American Cancer Society, Red Cross, Save the Children