Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who has appeared in Shakespeare productions during her tenure on the court, added to her repertoire over the weekend of November 11-13 when she appeared in a (speaking-only) cameo in Washington National Opera’s production of The Daughter of the Regiment at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Hon. Ginsburg, 83, played the Duchess of Krakenthorp in the 1841 Donizetti opera. The grande dame character has to decide whether the title character is worthy to marry her noble nephew According to the Los Angeles Times, Ginsburg’s “biggest laugh came when — in apparent reference to the bogus ‘birther’ campaign against President Obama — she asked whether Marie could produce a birth certificate and added: “We must take precautions against fraudulent pretenders.’”
This was scarcely Ginsburg's stage debut. She played cameo role in a production of William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, in its real-life setting, the Italian city of Venice, to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the city's Jewish ghetto.
Ginsburg, who was described by ABC News as a “noted theatre lover” played a judge presiding over Antonio’s Act V trial in the July 2016 production.
She had previously read a piece titled “That Boy” in the 2014 Arena Stage production Our War, and had appeared in a Shakespeare Theatre production of Henry VI, Part 2, in the role of Dick the Butcher, who delivers the famous line “First thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.”