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ShowCases: 3 Sisters, Mikado, 12th Night, Hamlet, The Importance of Being Earnest, Dangerous Liaisons, Don Juan


The Plot: The wealthy Baptista has two marriageable daughters: Kate, and Bianca. Baptista decrees that Kate, the elder, must be married before Biance, the younger. Bianca has many suitors while Katherine, known as the "shrew", has none on the horizon. Then Petruchio comes to find a wealthy wife. He arranges a dowery with Baptista and woos Kate, despite her objections. Meanwhile, the wooers of Bianca disguise themselves as her tutors to win her love which Lucentio, through an even greater deception, wins. Late for the wedding, Petruchio carries her off before the wedding banquet. She is "tamed" while under his care. Upon their return to her father's house, the disguises are discovered and a triple wedding ensues.
See Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Dangerous Liasons and Don Juan tp understand why I direct the Shrew.


William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet, Dir. Baz Luhrmann, with DiCaprio/Danes, 1997.
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Themes: list

In Shakespeare's comedy, The Taming of the Shrew, one of the main ways that the theme is shown is by mistaken identity. The main theme of this play is that what a person is really like is more important than how they appear to be. This is shown by Petruchio's relationship with Katherine; the changing roles of Tranio, Lucentio, and Hortensio; and the true characters of Bianca and Katherine. All three of these situations help to enrich the theme. [ * ]

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LOVE story: if there is no love story there is no story.
His and her thoughts about marriage before they met each other. What do we know about our future and who will be right for us? The classifieds are so wrong, when people describe the "dream" partner. "Partner" -- maybe, but not your soulmate. It has be unpredictacle, new, surprising! Watch the TV shows -- how dead and dreadful!

Notes and comments: looking back (Don Juan, DL), the woman was no interest to man, but means. Here is a genuine story of love, comedy, but less than tragic ones of Romeo or Othello. Comedy (situation) = marriage for money. But Petricio is not cynical, on the contrary, he likes the challenge (how else would you know each other without a fight?) In some ways this is a Cinderella's myth (nobody likes Kate).

Why does she marry him? Because of the love from the first sight. And even before it. He is the only one who wants her! Her or her money?

The answer is the story.

There is another wise thought -- only through marriage any true love can come.


Themes? How about this simple trust between man and woman? How does it work in our story? Oh, she knows that she can trust him -- the whole tasting sequence is the learning to trust.

The equality between sexes? The last act I want to cut on "Kiss me, Kate" -- on the street. Do we need to have the wedding scene; everything we saw is about falling in love and being in love. The end -- she is a partner and made them some money! If not for his love to her, would he be even interested in taming his wife. No, instead of leaving her to herself, Pete wanted to win Kate. Actually, he works harder to win heart.


"Love and Marriage"? How about the story nobody wants to tell -- "And they live happily ever after"? I think that the two will fall deeper in love with each other and will die on the same day.

Is there any way to show it?

Next: chorus
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Shakespeare appears to have drawn on many sources in writing the play. The character of the "shrew"—a word used to indicate an opinionated, domineering, and sharp-tongued woman—is found in the folklore and literature of many cultures. The earliest example in English drama is thought to be the character of Noah's wife in the medieval mystery plays. In the sixteenth century shrewish wives were featured in a number of plays, many of which depicted cruel physical punishments for the shrew. The principal source of the Bianca-Lucentio subplot is George Gascoigne's play Supposes (1566). Gascoigne's play was itself derived from an Italian play, Ludovico Ariosto's I Suppositi (1509), and many of its elements can be traced back to the classical Latin comedies of Plautus and Terence. As for the Induction, the story—of a poor man tricked into thinking he is a nobleman—was common in Europe and Asia in the sixteenth century and is at least as old as the story of the Caliph Haroun Al Raschid and the beggar Abu Hassan in The Arabian Nights. In addition, an anonymous play entitled The Taming of a Shrew and published in 1594 is generally thought to be either a pirated copy of Shakespeare's play or an inaccurate copy of an earlier play that may have been another source for Shakespeare's version. While the action of The Taming of a Shrew is very close to that of Shakespeare's play, both the language and the names of the characters are different. One interesting difference between the two plays concerns the Induction. In Shakespeare's play as we have it, the characters in the Induction are not mentioned in the text after the end of Act I, scene i. In A Shrew, on the other hand, the story line of the Induction is brought to a conclusion at the end of the play. Some modern productions of Shakespeare's Shrew incorporate material from The Taming of a Shrew in order to complete the story introduced in the Induction. Others eliminate the Induction altogether.
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2005-2006 Theatre UAF Season: Four Farces + One Funeral & Godot'06
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