Saturday, September 07, 2013

The Taming of the Shrew: Shakespeare Santa Cruz

Well, the play is over but I thought I would share this clip from Shakespeare Santa Cruz on The Taming of the Shrew. In it are Gretchen Hall (Kate), Fred Arsenault (Petruchio / Christopher Sly), and Edward Morgan (Director). They get to the heart of the play in the first sentence when mentioning conventional vs. unconventional--Kate isn't cut out for any part of society, not just marriage but also family or community. Shrew isn't one of my favorite Shakespeare plays but I have to say Shakespeare Santa Cruz's performance was the most enjoyable staging of it I've seen. Kudos to Morgan for staging it as it lies and not trying to soften or satirize the play.

There's always the question of what to do with the introduction and SSC used part of it as the framing device, stopping it when Christopher Sly passes out (and not including the trickery). Sly returns at the end, waking up from his stupor, to find his wife taking him home (using the format from The Taming of A Shrew, I assume).

All the actors were solid and the interaction of a few with the crowd added to the relaxed air in the redwood glen. V. Craig Heidenreich as Baptista (Kate and Bianca's father) made the play for me--I never realized how vital the role could be. My wife and I went on the last day of performances and with the sad news of SSC's dissolution, the curtain calls had a mix of celebration and regret. There was a toast before the performance (fortunately we had plenty of wine) with the note that theater can be very resilient--let's hope it's true in this particular case.

If you're in the area and have a chance to catch SSC's holdiay performance (It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play) I highly recommend it.

1 comment:

Brian Joseph said...

Thanks for the clip. I love Shakespeare and discussing Shakespeare. I really think that when It comes to Taming of the Shrew there is a lot more going on then meets the eye.

It is so unfortunate that this company is closing shop.