From the 2013-2014 Season:
The Taming of the Shrew
Playing July 03, 2014 to July 20, 2014
No performance Friday July 4th.
Directed by Artistic Director Jeff Watkins
This tale of the fiery and highly comedic romance of Kate and Petruchio still entertains after 400+ years but the debate still stands: just who tames whom?
Read the Plot Synopsis
THE TAMING OF THE SHREW synopsis
By Drew Reeves
Lucentio and his servant, Tranio, arrive in Padua to experience the city’s arts and culture. Soon after their arrival they witness Baptista Minola, a very rich man, negotiating with suitors for the hand of his youngest daughter, Bianca. Baptista will not allow Bianca to be married until his oldest daughter, Katherine, is wed, yet Katherine is considered by all to be a ‘shrew’, an ill-tempered woman prone to violence towards others. Baptista invites the suitors to find tutors for his daughters to help win favor. Lucentio falls in love with Bianca, and decides to disguise himself as a tutor so he can get closer to her, while Tranio will disguise himself as Lucentio to distract Baptista and negotiate a monetary agreement for the hand of Bianca.
Petruchio arrives with his servant Grumio, seeking to find a wealthy woman to wed. He goes to his good friend Hortensio, who is one of Bianca’s suitors, and he tells Petruchio of Katherine. Petruchio agrees to wed Katherine, and Hortensio plans to disguise himself as a tutor so he can get closer to Bianca.
Petruchio meets Katherine and a battle of wit and strong wills ensues. He tells Baptista he will marry her, and they agree upon the dowry. Baptista then tells ‘Lucentio’ (the disguised Tranio) that he can marry Bianca if he can prove that his father will assure him of his inheritance. Tranio decides he has to find someone to pretend to be Lucentio’s father, Vincentio.
Petruchio is late to his agreed upon wedding day, and when he finally arrives, he and his servant are dressed and behave in a very odd manner. This continues through the wedding, and he finally forcibly takes Kate away before the wedding feast.
Petruchio and Kate arrive at his house in Verona, and he begins treating his servants in the same manner Kate was earlier treating the suitors and him. For several days, he denies her food, new clothes, and behaves in a very erratic manner. He finally agrees that they will return to Padua to see her father. On the road home, Kate disagrees with Petruchio, and she finally begins to understand his behavior.
Meanwhile, back in Padua, Lucentio has revealed who he really is to Bianca, she falls for him, and they secretly marry, which they are able to do because Tranio as ‘Lucentio’ has brought in a fake father ‘Vincentio’. The real Vincentio arrives with Kate and Petruchio, and all of the deceptions are exposed, but it is too late, Lucentio and Bianca are married.
All then gather for a wedding feast with three married couples (Hortensio has married a wealthy widow who also proves to be a ‘shrew’). Petruchio bets with the other men that his wife is the most obedient, and Kate wins the bet when she delivers a speech about a woman’s duty to her husband and a man’s duty to his wife.
Act One: 70 min / Act Two: 60 min
July 3-20, 2014
Kate – Mary Russell
Petruchio – Matt Nitchie
Baptista, Servant – Doug Kaye*
Bianca, Servant – Kristin Storla
Lucentio, Servant – Jonathan Horne
Hortensio – Paul Hester*
Gremio, Tailor, Servant – J. Tony Brown*
Vincentio, Servant – Troy Willis*
Tranio, Servant – Joshua Diboll
Grumio – Drew Reeves*
Pedant, Servant – Clarke Weigle
Biondello, Servant – Matt Felten
Curtis, Haberdasher, Widow – Nicholas Faircloth
Bardometer RatingHow difficult is this Shakespearean play to grasp? On a scale of 1 to 10.
What does rating this mean?
You may already know the story and what happens at the end. But even if you don’t, the play is light and the plot is easy to follow. Limited violence, limited bawdiness (see below). There are very few things – historical, religious, or political – that you need to know ahead of time. Just enjoy!
A note about bawdiness in Shakespeare: It exists. Despite what your English teacher taught you, Shakespeare wrote some pretty saucy lines and they pop up from time to time. While there is never any nudity on stage, our actors are trained to make the text clear. If we feel a show contains a plethora of Graphic Elizabethan Poetry (or is very bloody/violent/triggering) we will put that disclaimer in the blurb about the show. It won’t happen often. If this Bardometer lists a play as a 1 or 2, you can rest assured that it is an appropriate show for kids under ten.