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Thomas Keegan here, Lucentio in Folger Theatre’s current production of The Taming of the Shrew.

Lights, sound, costumes, and… an AUDIENCE?!?! Yes, that’s right. We just finished our preview week for The Taming of the Shrew!

There were many tasks at hand for the cast and crew of Shrew in the days leading up to our first performance in front of an audience. One such task was adjusting the stage violence to fit the set, the costumes, and the structure of the production as it exists now (as opposed to its varying shapes, throughout the rehearsal process). While the show, at one time, lived in the world of heightened, stylized comedy, it now exists in a more realistic realm—one that we hope resonates with audiences on an intellectual and emotional level. With the guidance of director Aaron Posner, it was the responsibility of fight director Casey Kaleba to craft the moments of violence that occur in the play.

Marcus Kyd (Hortensio) tumbles down the stairs

“It’s all about storytelling,” says Casey. “We have to take it one beat at a time. When Kate and Petruchio go at each other after the wedding, one has the upper hand at one moment, and in the next moment, the control shifts, changes hands. And the onlookers can help tell that story with their reactions.”

When choreographing Marcus Kyd‘s (Hortensio) tumble down the stairs, Casey reminded Marcus that “comedy is about the struggle against gravity.” Come see the show to find out what Casey meant. Get your tickets at www.folger.edu/shrew.