Decoding First Folio: Misspelled Words or Actor Clues?

 

“Play with the text.” A common yet vague note. A note that can easily send an actor spinning in circles. But if you know what to play with - this note is all you need. This is where First Folio comes in handy.

 

Let’s take a look at a couple quick passages from the Merchant of Venice. In Act I. Scene ii we meet Portia, and her lady in waiting Nerissa for the first time. It’s a great exposition scene, that can be a lot fun for both the actors and the audience. I want to point out these sections specifically, because they highlight the importance of spelling when it comes to f