Theatre for a New Audience

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The Taming Of The Shrew  | Open: 03/18/12 Close: 04/21/12
NEW YORK - The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare, directed by Arin Arbus, is Theatre for a New Audience's fifth and final production of the 2011 - 2012 theatre season.  Maggie Siff (Sons of Anarchy and Mad Men) and Andy Grotelueschen (Cymbeline performed by Fiasco Theater) play Kate and Petruchio.  Previews begin Sunday, March 18, at 7:00pm, and opens Sunday, April 1, at 3:00pm for a run scheduled through April 21, at The Duke on 42nd Street, a NEW 42ND STREET® project, 229 West 42nd Street.

            Scenery is by Donyale Werle; lighting by Marcus Doshi; costumes by Anita Yavich; original music by Michael Friedman and choreography by Doug Elkins.  The voice director is Andrew Wade and B.H. Barry is the movement consultant.

        Jeffrey Horowitz, Artistic Director, Theatre for a New Audience, notes “Arin’s production imagines a traveling theatrical troupe bringing its production of The Taming of the Shrew, which is set in Italy, to a town in the American frontier, late 19th Century.  It is a time with certain parallels to Shakespeare’s play, and in fact Shakespeare was enormously popular in the American frontier.  He was played in large and small theatres, hotels, mining camps and riverboats.  Moreover, there was a fascination then with strong individuals; there were limited options for women, rigid social hierarchies, and pronounced materialism and sexism.”
 
            According to Ms. Arbus (Othello and Macbeth with John Douglas Thompson), “As The Taming of the Shrew is a play within a play, role playing and disguise are essential components.  Almost everyone is scheming, lying, and hiding beneath disguises.  Kate and Petruchio are the only ones who see things as they are and refuse to accept them.  Their relationship is not misogynistic.  It’s an intimate, brutal, hilarious negotiation between two strong-minded individuals, a husband and wife, about the terms of their contract.  What’s remarkable is not that they fight, but that through warring, they find love and mutual admiration and in doing so, create a new paradigm within their world.  As Harold Bloom writes, 'Kate and Petruchio…are clearly going to be the happiest married couple in Shakespeare.’”

            Michael Friedman, the composer who is creating a score which combines original and existing music, says, “I have an amazing collection of 19th Century traditional bawdy songs and there's a great trove of popular American songs I’ve discovered.  There are also some wonderful western tunes.  But, of course, the play within the play is set in Italy, so there is Bellini and Donizetti, early Verdi and Cherubini, all of whom were tremendously popular as opera, like Shakespeare, took America by storm.”

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