The truth within a lie. Isn’t that a quaint little sentence that sums up Shakespeare or most of it at any rate? It is if you’re playwright Aaron Posner and you’ve been commissioned to step away from your exceedingly brilliant modern riffs on Chekhov and step into a variation on the Bard’s The Merchant of Venice. Closing out the 2015/2016 season at Folger Theatre, Posner’s latest world premiere District Merchants,
The fourth act of a play is known as “the sensation scene.” This is the point where the play unites the A-plot with the B-plot, crams the moral of the story down the audience’s throats, and then overwhelms the senses with something spectacular, usually a lot of smoke and flames. But what happens if you’ve not only overwhelmed the senses of your audience but completely shocked and stunned them with an unabashedly forward and unapologetically galvanizing performance charged with racial controversy?