This adaptation of William Shakespeare's zesty classic comedy remains true to the original, but with its tighter construction is more easily accessible to junior and senior high school actors. Set in Padua, Italy, in the late 1500s, the story concerns the shy Bianca and the mean-spirited Katharina, the two daughters of a rich merchant named Baptista. Though Bianca is being courted by a number of young men, Baptista announces that she may not marry until Katharina is wed. None of the men in town are willing to marry Katharina, so Bianca remains unwed, even as more suitors...such as Lucentio, a student who begins working as a tutor in the household just to be near Bianca...line up to wed the maiden. No man approaches Katharina a until Petruchio, a wanderer who arrived in Padua just to find a rich wife, falls in love with her. After an intense, occasionally furious, courtship, Katharina eventually agrees to marry him, and they move to Petruchio's shoddy house, outside of the city. Following the wedding, Lucentio reveals that he is not a student, but instead the son of one of the most respected men in town. Lucentio gets permission to marry Bianca and a mild-mannered Katharina shows up at the wedding, giving advice to her sister on how to be a good wife. A lively, colorful and energetic play that actors and audience alike will enjoy.
PLAYWRIGHT ERIC L. MAGNUS
TALKS ABOUT "THE TAMING OF THE SHREW"
Q: WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE THIS ADAPTATION?
A: My interest in William Shakespeare has increased over the years as I've worked in with junior and high school students. After the success of "Romeo and Juliet" and that adaptation's subsequent publication, I've wanted to continue to share these works with a wider audience. "The Taming of the Shrew" was inspired mostly by my experience in directing the students at Olathe South High School in Olathe, Kansas.
Q: WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE PART OR LINE IN THE PLAY? WHY?
A: I love the scene in which Petruchio and Kate first meet. It is a titanic battle of the sexes between two larger-than-life personalities. A wonderfully scene...pure Shakespearean genius.
Q: WHAT DID YOU TRY TO ACHIEVE WITH THIS PLAY?
A: A solidly dramatic adaptation that struck a balance between story and characterization while keeping the core poetic essence of Shakespeare.
Q: DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO ADD?
A: Thanks to the original cast and the director of theatre at Olathe South High School, David Tate Hastings for trusting me to helm this production.