The Merchant of Venice is one of the most popular plays of Shakespeare and can be seen as a plea for tolerance, precisely for this reason it is still contemporary and offers a great entry for young students to the world of Shakespeare’s texts as well as to the theatrical productions.
For the cultural identity of British school students, experiencing England’s most prominent storyteller, William Shakespeare, is of particular importance. Deutsche Bank and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre have teamed to enrich this experience through their Playing Shakespeare with Deutsche Bank project.
The Deutsche Bank and the Globe Education are partnered in a 10-year relationship. The project guides 11- to 16-year-old students through the works of Shakespeare with performances and additional offers like workshops, which are open for over 3,000 students and 100 teachers with Continuing Professional Development (CPD) sessions. Since 2005, more than two-thirds of state school students in London in this age group have experienced the program.
Globe Education's bold productions have been praised for their edgy interpretation, appealing to teenagers without being dumped-down and retaining Shakespeare's own language. The value of the partnership between Globe Education and Deutsche Bank was endorsed by a survey of students who saw last year's Romeo and Juliet: nine out of ten pupils said they wanted "more Shakespeare".
In 2011, the project toured abroad for the first time, giving 4,000 young people in the United Arab Emirates the opportunity to experience Shakespeare. Deutsche Bank firmly believes that culture programs such as Playing Shakespeare can truly build bridges between people from diverse backgrounds and create a better understanding of each other.
The Playing Shakespeare with Deutsche Bank is part of the Bank's youth engagement program, Born to Be, which aims to inspire young people to fulfill their potential; to awaken and realize ambitions, encourage lifelong passions, provide experiences otherwise unavailable to many young people, and to help them avoid the risk of exclusion and dropping out of education.
“At Deutsche Bank, we believe that culture can ignite young people’s passion to learn and spur them on to exceptional achievements,” says Colin Grassie, Chief Executive Officer of Deutsche Bank in the UK.