THE TAMING AND THE SHREW: A KIND OF HISTORY
Based on a story by William Shakespeare - Adapted & Directed by Sara Fay Goldman
Approximate Run Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
The Stage Manager:
Kaia Maarja Hillier
PRODUCING ARTISTIC DIRECTOR:
There will be one 15 minute intermission
Director and Adapter:
Sara Fay Goldman
Fight and Intimacy Choreographer:
Props Designer and Aesthetic Consult:
Original Music by
Chris Beatty &
Sara Fay Goldman
Production Stage Manager:
Rehearsal Stage Manager:
S’been a year, huh?
I know – too soon. Alisa approached me with a similar question about 8 months ago: Is there an adaptation of Shrew in light of the women’s movement?
Her timing was brazen – three days after Weinstein was fired from the Weinstein Company; four days before Alyssa Milano quoted Tarana Burke’s campaign on Twitter, something was happening that was worth investing in with a team of professionals. I’m still discovering my gratitude for this impetus, because, talk about too soon – The wound was still raw and unnamed, and given my background, I may not have gotten there myself, or dared to so quickly. I was trained in a very conservative theatre tradition of professional protocols which values the ability to create personal boundaries and emotionally separate from our work.
A few days later the Me Too campaign went viral and we coined Time’s Up – and both were even winceier for me to say out loud back in the Fall than they are today. Citing such a brand name for what is a very real need for justice, and for the purpose of marketing; it felt like I was commercializing a trusted secret. But now, 8 months later, I’m almost able to cite said movement without insisting on using my own euphemism of choice (today, the women’s movement of many names). What is it about sticking your neck out and asking to be seen and respected that makes us clam up?
At this unprocessed, emotional moment in history, this play contains more questions than answers, but we are very lucky to have a space to ask them together. I refer to my roller coaster of emotions in service to this play in order to highlight how bravely Shakespeare publicly and professionally exposed a history of silenced women, perhaps taking a risk that his female contemporaries didn’t have access to. So I think we should ask Kate what she thinks.
ABOUT THE CAST (IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER)
ABOUT THE DESIGNERS
SARA FAY GOLDMAN, DIRECTOR AND ADAPTER
Sara Fay Goldman has been helping make theatre in Portland for the past decade. She moved from the East armed with a degree in Theatre from Barnard College and a plan and has since relaxed a bit about both of those things. She is incredibly grateful to experience firsthand the way people have come together at this pivotal if painful moment in time. She’s also humbled by this cast and design team and hopes that with their efforts, you leave today a bit more prepared for what the year has to offer. During this run she will also be touring as part of the cast of Portland Actors Ensemble’s late summer show directed by Sam Dinkowitz, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) – an old favorite and a major influence on the production you’re about to see.Huge thanks to her parents, Daniel, Noble, Corey, Winston, Erik, Rusty, Sam, and especially Christopher for making it happen. But this one is going out to all the ladies.
HANNAH EDELSON, COSTUME DESIGN
This is Hannah’s first show with Experience Theatre Project, and what a show it is! You might have seen her work as a costumer in The Doctor & The Devil (Fertile Ground), the Deception Unit (PETE), and A Christmas Carol (Portland Playhouse). Onstage, she’s done work with Voice for Voiceless (The Christians, Twelve Angry Jurors), Corrib Theatre (Belfast Girls), and the Nesting Series among others. She hopes you enjoy the colors and textures of the world of Shrew!
WINSTON BISCHOF, SET CONSULT
Winston Bischof is very excited to be working on this production of The Taming And The Shrew. He graduated from Southern Oregon University and was an acting intern at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 2011. He then moved to Portland and worked as a theater artist in various capacities. Winston was an integral part of the Post5 Theater production team as well as an acting company member. He worked as the technical director for Theatre Vertigo in 2012, and designed and produced theatrical scenery for various companies and educational programs as a freelance Technical Director. Winston is currently the Project Manager for SQFT Studios, a local construction company building ADU's and home studios. In his free time, Winston enjoys attending Ballet class at NW Dance Project and BodyVox. Part of Winston's draw to this project is his passion for both Shakespeare and clown; this project has taken the two and mashed them together. Enjoy!
KRISTEN MUN, FIGHT AND INTIMACY CHOREOGRAPHER
Kristen Mun has worked as a fight choreographer for over half a dozen theatre companies in the Portland area and has trained in theatrical combat for over 10 years. Outside of Portland she has worked at Utah Shakespeare Festival, Idaho Repertory Theatre, and was the assistant fight choreographer at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival for 2 seasons (09-10).
NICOLE D'AMICO, PROPS DESIGN AND AESTHETIC CONSULT
Nicki is thrilled to be working with Experience Theater Project and the wonderful creative team of this whole new Shrew! How fortunate she has been to design props for memorable shows like Luna Gale, at CoHo, 1776 at Lakewood Center, and Davita's Harp, for Jewish Theater Collaborative. A native New Yorker Nicki has lived in Portland for 11 years and loves it. She holds a degree in Drama Studies from SUNY Purchase.
SUMMARY OF TAMING AND THE SHREW: A KIND OF HISTORY
This play is an adaptation of Shakespeare's, set in the very real here and now - on an estate just outside of town in a small city's theater community, only 7 or 8 months into 2018. (Been a bit of a year, no?)
To help you enjoy the show, you may want to familiarize yourself with the 16th century comedy.
Shakespeare's Shrew is set in a fictional version of Padua, a merchant town about 25 miles from Venice (the major port on the Italian coast) and run by the rich and powerful (and male) heads of households. An acting company is asked to perform for a Trustee, who offers the company money in exchange for a complete performance of "that play." The company agrees, but the Trustee has even more ideas to make the play more exciting.
The following is a summary of Shakespeare's The Taming Of The Shrew. Bear in mind that the play you are seeing keeps the "play within the play" idea alive, and the company of actors often switch roles, sometimes by demand of the Trustee, other times because the material, uhm, calls for it.
And now... the summary of Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew
The play begins with a drunken tinker named Christopher Sly in front of The Elephant Alehouse. He is found by a local lord who decides to play a prank on him. The lord has his men take Sly to his manor, dress him in his finery, and treat him as a lord. When Sly recovers, the men tell him that he is a lord and that he only believes himself to be a tinker because he has been insane for the past several years. Waking in the lord’s bed, Sly at first refuses to accept the men’s story, but when he hears of his “wife,” a pageboy dressed in women’s clothing, he readily agrees that he is the lord they purport him to be. Sly wants to be left alone with his wife, but the servants tell him that a troupe of actors has arrived to present a play for him. The play that Sly watches makes up the main story of The Taming of the Shrew.
In the Italian city of Padua, a rich young man named Lucentio arrives with his servants, Tranio and Biondello, to attend the local university. Lucentio is excited to begin his studies, but his priorities change when he sees Bianca, a beautiful, mild young woman with whom Lucentio instantly falls in love. There are two problems: first, Bianca already has two suitors, Gremio and Hortensio; second, Bianca’s father, a wealthy old man named Baptista Minola, has declared that no one may court Bianca until first her older sister, the vicious, ill-tempered Katherine, is married. Lucentio decides to overcome this problem by disguising himself as Bianca’s Latin tutor to gain an excuse to be in her company. Hortensio disguises himself as her music teacher for the same reason. While Lucentio pretends to be Bianca’s tutor, Tranio dresses up as Lucentio and begins to confer with Baptista about the possibility of marrying his daughter.
The Katherine problem is solved for Bianca’s suitors when Hortensio’s friend Petruchio, a brash young man from Verona, arrives in Padua to find a wife. He intends to marry a rich woman, and does not care what she is like as long as she will bring him a fortune. He agrees to marry Katherine sight unseen. The next day, he goes to Baptista’s house to meet her, and they have a tremendous duel of words. As Katherine insults Petruchio repeatedly, Petruchio tells her that he will marry her whether she agrees or not. He tells Baptista, falsely, that Katherine has consented to marry him on Sunday. Hearing this claim, Katherine is strangely silent, and the wedding is set.
On Sunday, Petruchio is late to his own wedding, leaving Katherine to fear she will become an old maid. When Petruchio arrives, he is dressed in a ridiculous outfit and rides on a broken-down horse. After the wedding, Petruchio forces Katherine to leave for his country house before the feast, telling all in earshot that she is now his property and that he may do with her as he pleases. Once they reach his country house, Petruchio continues the process of “taming” Katherine by keeping her from eating or sleeping for several days—he pretends that he loves her so much he cannot allow her to eat his inferior food or to sleep in his poorly made bed.
In Padua, Lucentio wins Bianca’s heart by wooing her with a Latin translation that declares his love. Hortensio makes the same attempt with a music lesson, but Bianca loves Lucentio, and Hortensio resolves to marry a wealthy widow. Tranio secures Baptista’s approval for Lucentio to marry Bianca by proposing a huge sum of money to lavish on her. Baptista agrees but says that he must have this sum confirmed by Lucentio’s father before the marriage can take place. Tranio and Lucentio, still in their respective disguises, feel there is nothing left to do but find an old man to play the role of Lucentio’s father. Tranio enlists the help of an old pedant, or schoolmaster, but as the pedant speaks to Baptista, Lucentio and Bianca decide to circumvent the complex situation by eloping.
Katherine and Petruchio soon return to Padua to visit Baptista. On the way, Petruchio forces Katherine to say that the sun is the moon and that an old man is really a beautiful young maiden. Since Katherine’s willfulness is dissipating, she agrees that all is as her husband says. On the road, the couple meets Lucentio’s father, Vincentio, who is on his way to Padua to see his son. In Padua, Vincentio is shocked to find Tranio masquerading as Lucentio. At last, Bianca and Lucentio arrive to spread the news of their marriage. Both Vincentio and Baptista finally agree to the marriage.
At the banquet following Hortensio’s wedding to the widow, the other characters are shocked to see that Katherine seems to have been “tamed." When the three new husbands stage a contest to see which of their wives will obey first when summoned, everyone expects Lucentio to win. Bianca, however, sends a message back refusing to obey, while Katherine comes immediately. The others acknowledge that Petruchio has won an astonishing victory, and the happy Katherine and Petruchio leave the banquet to go to bed.
SPECIAL THANKS TO THE PEOPLE THAT MAKE THIS POSSIBLE
Experience Theatre Project appreciates all of its supporters and volunteers that make this production possible! Shout out to ETP board members Gustavo Ramirez and Leia Young for helping with the set-up and offering to pitch in whenever needed. To Casey Campbell for taking such awesome photos of our past shows, this show, and future events. Thank you to SQFT Studios for donating the use of its wood shop to build the set. Big thanks to Lewis & Clark, Jenny Ampersand & Third Rail, Rusty Tennant, Megan Murphy Ruckman, Jake Merriman, and extra kudos to SM Corey McCarey for being a hero.
We are in awe that the the City of Beaverton has granted our company funds to host the very first Shakespeare Festival on the westside. We are calling it The Westside Shakespeare Festival, and will take place on July 5, 6, and 7, 2019 at the Beaverton Library South Lawn. We hope you will join us for this event which will invite you to experience the world of the Bard, including performances by local students and professional actors, a kids craft tent, food vendors, arts booths, a beer and wine tent, and much more!
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