Theatre Dybbuk Performance Art: "The Villainy You Teach"

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Featured, Performance

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Teen, Adult, Senior
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Program Description

Event Details

And now for something competely different! Theatre Dybbuk, a Los Angeles-based experimental repertory theater, will present a Shakespeare-inspired part-theater, part performance-art piece entitled The Villainy You Teach at Coronado Public Library on Thursday, June 15 from 6-8:30 p.m.

The character of Shylock in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice has long been a source of debate. Some have argued that his is an antisemitic portrait with long-lasting effects on the perception of Jews in our world, while others have stated that the character is a nuanced portrayal that, especially given the time and place of his creation, is empathetic to his plight. Often, at the center of this debate is found a speech in which Shylock proclaims his humanity while defending his vengeful desires.

In The Villainy You Teach, Theatre Dybbuk explodes this famous speech and, through the use of heightened theatricality and repetition, investigates the ways in which language can both take on a wide variety of meanings and lose all meaning through persistent examination and exposure.

The audience is invited to witness an actor perform this brief speech repeatedly over the course of most of the length of the play, reciting it dozens, if not hundreds, of times. This action is accompanied by a simultaneous performed reading of The Merchant of Venice in its entirety – its words acting as the container within which Shylock's speech exists.

Audience members can stay in the space for the duration of the (approximately) 2.5 hour installation-style performance or they can come and go, engaging with the event in the manner that they choose. 

The Villainy You Teach premiered March 2, 2023 in Los Angeles. The Villainy You Teach premiered March 2, 2023 in Los Angeles. In Coronado, it features actors and performance artists Aaron Henne, Joe Jordan, Adam Lebowitz-Lockard, Julie A. Lockhart, Inger Tudor, and Diana Tanaka, with musical accompaniment by Andrew Anderson. For more information about The Villainy You Teach, visit

Theatre Dybbuk is in the San Diego area June 14-18 for a weeklong residency. For information about other performances Theatre Dybbuk is presenting during its week (all in La Jolla), visit


About Theatre Dybbuk: 

Theatre Dybbuk (pronounced "dib-book") creates provocative performances and innovative educational encounters that explore Jewish thought to illuminate universal human experience. All of its projects are conceived by Artistic Director Aaron Henne and developed with its actors/artists, and are created through a process which takes up to three years. These productions incorporate lyrical language, stylized movement and visceral metaphors to create expressionistic, singularly theatrical experiences. Theatre Dybbuk was founded in 2011, with its inaugural production, cave…a dance for lilith (co-produced with LA Contemporary Dance Company), opening on November 9, 2012. 

Theatre Dybbuk has become a prominent provider of arts-based leadership training, community engagement events, and Jewish educational programs to non-profits, community organizations, synagogues, and schools in the Los Angeles area and throughout North America. It also produces a podcast, "The Dybbukast."