Philippa Kelly, Resident Dramaturg for Cal Shakes, shares her thoughts and answers your questions on our 2011 productions.
Written when Shakespeare was in his late 20s and first flexing his muscles for the stage, The Taming of the Shrew engendered both merriment and controversy from the very start, even in a society that was accustomed to the punishment of shrews via bridles and aquatic torture as well as with words. The induction scene that begins this play—both Shakespeare’s induction and the contemporary musical one with which our company has replaced it—firmly situate Shrew as a comedy to be raucously enjoyed. And yet there is cruelty, too—the sharpness of social rejection and the harshness of public humiliation—and, in Shana Cooper’s beautiful production, there are also mysterious and poignant glimpses of love.
Are you going to see our production of Shrew? Do you have questions or comments about the production’s themes, creative choices, or anything else? Please leave them in the comments, and I’ll be sure to respond.