Shylock’s Beard

“What do you do when life gets too close to the art you’re making?”


2m, 2f

available for production.

About the play:

Dan, a Jewish Shakespeare professor, never liked Shylock. Things were bad enough when he agreed to dramaturg a production of The Merchant of Venice; but then he started seeing Shylock in his bathroom mirror.

Winner of the 2016 Award for Excellence in Playwriting (now called the Judith Royer Award) from the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE).



Public readings:

  • ATHE conference, Chicago, 2016.
  • Showcase scene reading, Alliance for Jewish Theatre, Philadelphia, 2018.
  • Jewish Collaborative of Orange County and Bimah, via Zoom, 2020.


  • “… a wonderful nuanced expression of Jewish faith … a probing exploration and dramaturgical adventure into the psyche of a man’s revengeful pursuit of a pound of flesh.  … many devotees of theatre, amateur and professional alike, will appreciate the inside world of rehearsal and performance.  … Shylock’s Beard is perfect to produce in repertory with The Merchant of Venice or to stand alone for any audience appreciative of Shakespeare’s original work.”  Quarto, the newsletter of the Shakespeare Theatre Association, Spring/Summer 2016.
  • “…  the script is intelligent, moving, and often funny and warm despite its painful end, with incisive commentary on The Merchant of Venice and Shylock, the nature of artistic collaboration and creation, and Dan’s transformation sprinkled throughout. It will appeal to both scholarly and non-scholarly audiences, and is well worth producing.”  Shaksper:  The Global Electronic Shakespeare Conference.
  • Dadapalooza.
  • “Why isn’t everyone producing this play? It’s funny. It’s tragic. It’s honest. It’s about Shakespeare. It’s about love. It’s about academia. It’s about theatre: process, rehearsal, dramaturgy. It’s really well written. It’s easy to stage with only four actors. This play’s the thing, really. Read it. Produce it. Today.” Reader recommendation on New Play Exchange.

Cary Mazer is interviewed at the ATHE conference in August, 2016, on Shylock’s Beard winning the Award for Excellence in Playwriting.

Download the latest version of the script at:

or contact the playwright directly.

Direct all inquiries about performance rights to the playwright.

Poster by Adam Riggar