Struts & Frets: Interviews with the Cast & Crew of Merchant of Venice - Samantha Maurice

If you could have any superpower, what would it be? If you're wise, it would be to turn into Samantha Maurice! But, for now, she's the only one, and she wields that extreme power very responsibly (most of the time). If you're not afraid of staring directly into the sun, check Sam out as Nerissa in Hamlet Isn't Dead's Merchant of Venice!

Is this a HIDiot I see before me?
*Warning: Do not try to clutch by the handle*
HID: First thing’s first: What’s your favorite color, and the favorite color of your character? And why?

SM: My favorite color is spring green. I think Nerissa's favorite color is like a magenta/fuchsia type of deep pinky-purple, although that might just be because I have found myself wearing a lot of pink while I'm rehearsing.

HID: You’re a regularly-occurring HIDiot. If all of the characters you’ve played in Hamlet Isn’t Dead shows got in a fight, who would win? How does Nerissa fare?

SM: Okay so we've got a cage match between Nerissa, Holofernes, Katherine, Queen Ellizabeth, Tamora, and Bianca. So, this is going to escalate quickly.

I think Nerissa, Bianca and Katherine all gang up on Queen Elizabeth, so she gets knocked out, but the three of them are just no match at all for Tamora. However, ultimate winner has to be Holofernes who everyone discounts, cuz y'know she's a myopic, asthmatic, knock-kneed nerd. But Holofernes gets the last laugh, after Tamora has brutally murdered Nerissa, Bianca and Katherine, Holofernes prays her inhaler into Tamora's eyes, and then confuses her by lisping mis-quoted Latin at her, until Tamora becomes so blind and mad at not being able to understand that she stabs herself. All hail Holofernes.

HID: Besides Bassanio, who’s Nerissa’s second choice for Portia? Either from the play itself or the rest of Shakespeare’s canon.

SM: I think Nerissa would much prefer if Portia married Antonio, cuz he got dat cash money son, and also he seems super distracted by Bassiano which means Nerissa would get to keep Portia pretty much to herself. Although, I will say, Nerissa herself has a soft spot for the French lord, Monsieur LeBon--he's sexy.

Outside of the play, I think she might try to set Portia up with King Lear--he's very old and he seems easily swayed, so we could easily swoop in there, get Lear to leave Portia everything in the will (two of his three daughters are awful anyway) and then bada bing bada boom Portia is queen of Britain. Awesome.

HID: Nerissa’s a big part of Portia’s wooing process. Have you ever had the opportunity to play match-maker in real life?

SM: I have never played match-maker consciously, however, I live with two couples who have been together for at least three years and I was present when both of the couples met each other for the first time, so I might be a bit of a good luck charm. 

With that kind of track record, you have no excuse not to come celebrate #HIDMoV with Samantha and the rest of the HIDiots! She'll be bringing life and love to the stage in Hamlet Isn't Dead's Merchant of Venice opening December 14th! See you there!
Tickets are available at -- ON SALE NOW! Shows run Dec. 14th - 17th.

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