Skip to main content

LATEST UPDATES: Tracking COVID-19 | Vaccines | Racial Justice

Shakespeare’s ‘Taming Of The Shrew’ Reimagined In The Era Of ‘Mad Men’

InnerMission Productions tackles one of the Bard’s ‘problem’ plays for the modern audience

Kym Pappas as Kate and Steve Froehlich as Petruchio square off in William Sha...

Credit: Adriana Zuniga-Williams

Above: Kym Pappas as Kate and Steve Froehlich as Petruchio square off in William Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew" now playing at Diversionary Black Box.

Shakespeare's 'Taming Of The Shrew' Reimagined In The Era Of 'Mad Men'


Carla Nell, director, "The Taming of the Shrew"

Beth Accomando, arts and culture reporter, KPBS News


William Shakespeare was a great writer, but some of his plays pose problems for modern audiences. One such play is "The Taming of the Shrew," in which Kate and Petruchio square off in a battle of the sexes. InnerMission Productions has just mounted a production that tackles the play from a feminist perspective.

Carla Nell, artistic director of InnerMission Productions, is known for doing plays that look to feminists issues such as "The Vagina Monologues." So when she decided to take on "The Taming of the Shrew," she knew there would be some challenges.

Take this little bit of dialogue from Petruchio about his new bride Kate:

"I will be master of what is mine own. She is my goods, my chattels; she is my house, My household stuff, my field, my barn, My horse, my ox, my ass..."

Those are tough words to serve up to a contemporary audience, and Nell fully realized that when she decided to direct the play.

Her solution was to place the play in the era of "Mad Men," which was set in the 1960s just as the women's movement was starting to pick up steam. In this context, Kate could be seen as a budding feminist dealing with chauvinistic attitudes.

InnerMission Productions' "The Taming of the Shrew" runs through Aug. 27 at Diversionary Black Box. Showtimes are at 7:30 p.m.


San Diego News Now podcast branding

San Diego news; when you want it, where you want it. Get local stories on politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings. Hosted by Anica Colbert and produced by KPBS, San Diego and the Imperial County's NPR and PBS station.

  • Your curated weekly guide to local arts and culture in San Diego, from Arts Calendar Editor Julia Dixon Evans, delivered to your inbox every Thursday afternoon.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Photo of Beth Accomando

Beth Accomando
Arts & Culture Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI cover arts and culture, from Comic-Con to opera, from pop entertainment to fine art, from zombies to Shakespeare. I am interested in going behind the scenes to explore the creative process; seeing how pop culture reflects social issues; and providing a context for art and entertainment.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.