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
Friday, August 19, 2016
Credit: Adriana Zuniga-Williams
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.
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