Taming of the Shrew


August 28 – October 4, 2009

Directed by Nick Minas
Music Director and Original Composition by Ethan Deppe
Play by William Shakespeare

The Taming of the Shrew is a Shakespeare comedy written between 1590 and 1594.  The main plot depicts the courtship of Petruchio, a gentleman of Verona, and Katherina, the headstrong, obdurate shrew.   Initially, Katherina is an unwilling participant in the relationship, but Petruchio tempers her with various psychological torments – the “taming” – until she is an obedient bride.

The play’s misogynic theme is politically incorrect for today’s sensibilities, but Minas turns it into a farce as commedia d’elle art and some gender-bender casting to present the play in a totally different light.

Director’s Comments:

The highly theatrical, heightened style is similar to musical comedy that is fun, and the audience has fun.  We want to create a carnival festival atmosphere feel, as if a group of actors landed in the No Exit Café and all of us are watching the comedy together.   An open window to passersby on the sidewalk that actors respond to adds further to this feeling.

It’s a story about the relationships between men and women, and it was written at a time when women’s roles were viewed very differently, so the challenge is bringing Elizabethan costumes and language into a modern day contemporary world.  I believe Kate and Petruchio are madly in love and perfectly matched to become the happiest couple in the world.

The controversy that usually arises when producing The Taming of the Shrew is with our current sensibilities about the roles of men and women in our society.  Not only can we see how far we have come as a society, but that we are still conflicted over roles of gender with the ongoing discussion of gay marriage, a woman’s ability to become President and many other issues that evolve around gender.  My vision is to take this controversy head-on and explore it with the audience in a way that works best in the intimate setting of cabaret theatre, starting with an experiment of switching around some roles without mocking gender.  — Nick Minas

Background

Shakespeare is believed to have written The Taming of the Shrew between 1592 and 1594. Although a play named The Taming of a Shrew was published first in the so-called “bad quarto” of 1594, Shakespeare’s own version was not published until 1623 when the First Folio of his works was compiled.  The first known performance of The Taming of the Shrew was held at Newington Butts on June 13, 1594.

Cast

Jenny Lamb as Katherina (Kate)

Jeremy van Meter as Petruchio

Ryan Jarosch as Grumio

Cheryl Roy as Baptista Minola

Steve Gensler as Lucentio

Mike Oleon as Tranio

Benjamin Mason as Hortensio

J. Preddie Predmore as Gremio

Matthew Sherbach as Bianca

Mikey Vines in many supporting roles.

Crew

Brian Hunt as Assistant Director

Barbara Zahora as Text Coach

Clare Roche as Stage Manager

Brian Hoehne as Lighting Designer

Jill van Brussel as Costume Designer

R&D Choreography as Violence Designer

Fact Sheet
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